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Tags: covid-19 | masks | vaccines mandates | carnival | louisiana | new orleans | bourbon street

New Orleans Ending Some COVID Restrictions After Carnival Season

A parade-goer catches a signature hand-decorated coconut on Mardi Gras Day in New Orleans
A parade-goer catches a signature hand-decorated coconut as the 1,500 members of the Krewe of Zulu make their way down St. Charles Avenue on Mardi Gras Day with their 44-float parade entitled Zulu Salutes Divas and Legends on Tuesday in New Orleans. (Michael DeMocker/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 02 March 2022 10:39 PM EST

With the end of Mardi Gras, and the Carnival season in New Orleans, Louisiana, city officials are announcing the end of some COVID restrictions, including indoor mask mandates.

The end of the annual Carnival season, which brings thousands to the city, culminating with Mardi Gras, which ended Tuesday, the indoor mask mandate and providing proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter bars, restaurants, and other venues are ending, according to the Associated Press.

"The greatest benefit of masking to our community has been during these past few weeks of repeated large, crowded activities, particularly indoors," city Health director Dr. Jennifer Avegno told the AP on Wednesday. "And the threat from those events has now significantly lessened as we enter into Lent and leave Carnival behind."

She said the indoor mask mandate will end at 6 a.m. local time Thursday, and the proof of vaccination for indoor venues will end March 21 if hospitalization rates remain low.

According to the report, she said the city supports people who decide to remain masked, and businesses that may still require masking requirements, and the department will monitor data as time goes along to see how hospitalization rates are impacted.

She does expect the number of infections to rise in the next few weeks because of the crowds attending Mardi Gras celebrations.

The state issued guidelines Feb. 17 to those attending the festivities during Mardi Gras, encouraging people to wear masks, especially "properly fitted respirators (N95, KN95 or KF94)" when attending indoor public spaces and private gatherings, and outdoors if social distancing could not be maintained.

It also recommended people get vaccinated and boosted if eligible, stay home if they were sick, and telling those with underlying conditions to consider not going to events.

"We definitely are on the downswing of our biggest surge yet, but there still is widespread transmission throughout the state," State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter said in the guidance. "Thankfully, we have more tools to protect ourselves than we have ever had before, and there are many ways to Mardi Gras."

According to the latest data from the state, 1,469 new cases were reported from Feb. 17-23, with 71 deaths, and 412 COVID patients in the hospital, 43 on ventilators.

A total of 1,227,106 cases and 16,677 deaths have been reported since the beginning of the pandemic in that state.

Southern Louisiana became a hot spot early on in the pandemic, with Mardi Gras 2020 eventually being labeled a "superspreader" event, causing cancellations of parades and other events, as well as more severe restrictions in the city's famous French Quarter in 2021.

Opponents of the 2021 restrictions sued the city, but officials said that was not the reason for lifting the restrictions now.

"We knew that a repeat of the suffering of Mardi Gras 2020 was not an option," Avegno told the AP. "We make decisions based on science and data and public health, not on legal proceedings."

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Newsfront
With the end of Mardi Gras, and the Carnival season in New Orleans, Louisiana, city officials are announcing the end of some COVID restrictions, including indoor mask mandates.
covid-19, masks, vaccines mandates, carnival, louisiana, new orleans, bourbon street
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2022-39-02
Wednesday, 02 March 2022 10:39 PM
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