New Orleans drops mask mandate as coronavirus numbers fall

Oct 27, 2021, 3:33 PM | Updated: 3:41 pm

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans is largely ending a mandate requiring residents and visitors wear masks indoors as infections of the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus continue to fall, the city’s mayor announced Wednesday.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a news release the mandate will be lifted Friday, with some exceptions: Masks will still be required in healthcare facilities, on public transportation and in K-12 schools.

That comes as the city slowly revives some of the large-scale events that it was known for before the pandemic. On Saturday thousands crowded city streets for the first large parade — Krewe of Boo — since Mardi Gras 2020. The 2020 parades were largely considered fuel for New Orleans becoming an early virus epicenter. Music festivals and parades that normally draw hundreds of thousands of people, including this year’s Mardi Gras, were canceled.

But it increasingly looks as if the city will host Mardi Gras parades next year. On Friday, Cantrell said the parades will go ahead if there’s no dramatic rise in coronavirus infections.

The city’s mask mandate was implemented July 30 as the fourth coronavirus surge packed hospitals. Soon after, Gov. John Bel Edwards implemented a statewide mask mandate.

At the time, Louisiana had the nation’s highest per capita COVID-19 infection growth and hospitals were inundated. New hospitalizations have fallen dramatically since, and Louisiana now has one of the nation’s lowest rates of new infections.

The city’s announcement comes one day after Edwards largely lifted the statewide mask mandate, saying the worst of the fourth surge appeared to be over.

But another key city measure requiring people to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter certain businesses will remain, the mayor said.

About 60% of New Orleans is fully vaccinated while 75% of those eligible for the shots are fully vaccinated, according to the news release.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Georgia monument that some called satanic damaged by bomb

ELBERTON, Ga. (AP) — A rural Georgia monument that some conservative Christians have criticized as satanic was bombed before dawn on Wednesday, damaging one of four granite panels that some people dubbed “America’s Stonehenge.” The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said the Georgia Guidestones monument near Elberton was damaged by an explosive device. Elberton Granite Association […]
10 hours ago
Maryah Lauer and Chauncy Johnson pose for a photo in Colorado Springs, Colo., shortly after interru...
Associated Press

Democrats frustrated by party’s response to abortion ruling

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — As Sen. Michael Bennet sought to encourage a small crowd of fellow Democrats not to give up the fight for abortion rights, Maryah Lauer stepped forward, bullhorn in hand, to exhort him to do more. “Do you support ending the filibuster and expanding the court?” the 28-year-old called out from […]
10 hours ago
The National Assembly is pictured as French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne delivers a speech in Par...
Associated Press

French government plans to nationalize electricity giant EDF

PARIS (AP) — France’s government plans to nationalize indebted French electricity giant EDF amid a broad energy crisis aggravated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said Wednesday. The French state now holds an 84% stake in the company, one of the world’s biggest electricity producers. Shares in EDF, which has suffered a […]
10 hours ago
FILE - Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Christopher Wray testifies during a Senate A...
Associated Press

US, UK leaders raise fresh alarms about Chinese espionage

LONDON (AP) — The head of the FBI and the leader of Britain’s domestic intelligence agency raised alarms Wednesday about the Chinese government, warning business leaders that Beijing is determined to steal their technology for competitive gain. FBI Director Christopher Wray reaffirmed previous concerns in denouncing economic espionage and hacking operations by China as well […]
10 hours ago
Juvenile smallmouth bass sit at a National Park Service laboratory near Page, Ariz., July 1, 2022. ...
Associated Press

Biologists’ fears confirmed on the lower Colorado River

Denver, Colo. (AP) — For National Park Service fisheries biologist Jeff Arnold, it was a moment he’d been dreading. Bare-legged in sandals, he was pulling in a net in a shallow backwater of the lower Colorado River last week, when he spotted three young fish that didn’t belong there. “Give me a call when you […]
10 hours ago
FILE - Robert Downey Jr. signs autographs as he arrives at the premiere of "Avengers: Endgame" at t...
Associated Press

Granholm, actor Robert Downey Jr. boost clean energy jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Energy Department is teaming with actor Robert Downey Jr. to recruit up to 1,000 new workers focused on climate change and clean energy. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Wednesday released a video with the “Iron Man” actor encouraging applicants from diverse backgrounds to join the department’s “clean energy corps” and take […]
10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
New Orleans drops mask mandate as coronavirus numbers fall