Two shots now needed to prove vaccination in New Orleans

Published: Feb. 1, 2022 at 9:42 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Stricter COVID-19 guidelines took effect in New Orleans, Tuesday.

Not only are all NOLA Public School students required to be fully vaccinated, everyone 5 years and up are required to have both shots to prove vaccination status, or a negative test when entering indoor spaces like bars and restaurants.

“The more accuracy that we can get on things, the better,” Cosimo’s bartender, Kaysee Seymour said. “I think that it helps everybody else too. There’s a lot of people that do feel better going out.”

At Cosimo’s, Seymour says her customers come to her with their vaccination cards already in hand.

“It’s been relatively easy and most of the cards, honestly, I’ve already seen, mostly everybody is fully vaccinated,” Seymour said.

She, like so many others we spoke with, thought from the beginning you needed both doses, not just one.

Starting Tuesday, it’s required. You need both shots of Pfizer or Moderna to satisfy the vaccination requirement. This does not include the one-shot Johnson and Johnson.

“Just staying on top of it to keep ourselves, you know, out of trouble and also to keep everybody else safe as well because we don’t we don’t want to cause any hubbub any which way,” Seymour said.

The city says they aren’t out to bust businesses or schools for non-compliance and will be helping those get up to speed who need it.

“We recognize it’s not going to wave a magic wand on day one, everybody’s at 100-percent,” City Spokesperson Beau Tidwell said. “We’re looking, as we have throughout this with restaurants with businesses, we’re looking for people to be good actors and act in good faith and to make best faith efforts.”

For many visitors and especially residents, the change doesn’t affect them.

“I’ve been vaccinated and boosted, but I’m still being cautious, I’m still wearing a mask,” New Orleans resident Lee Johnson said. “I mean, it makes sense to wear a mask, you know what I’m saying? Because I lost someone dear to me recently, it is serious.”

“Anytime we go into a restaurant, we have to show it, we have to wear our masks when we go into a business, which is not a big deal. We have both of our shots and our booster,” visitor P.J. Livengood said.

New Orleans & Co. has already updated their messaging for incoming visitors, warning them weeks ahead of the change on their website, which lays out all the guidelines, the city’s current case data, as well as testing locations.

“We just want to reinforce what the guidelines are completely transparent about that so that there are no surprises for our guests when they get here,” Kelly Schulz with New Orleans & Co. said. “Come enjoy Mardi Gras, but do so safely and please follow the guidelines that are in place.”

This comes as a lawsuit aiming to block the City’s mandates is filed on behalf of more than 100 plaintiffs.

Tidwell doubled down Tuesday, saying these guidelines saved lives and they will remain in place through Mardi Gras.

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