As Mardi Gras nears, New Orleans brings back mask mandate

Jan 11, 2022, 11:33 AM | Updated: 2:16 pm

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans will reinstitute an indoor mask mandate to fight the spread of COVID-19 while readying for an influx of visitors for the Mardi Gras season, the city health director said Tuesday.

Dr. Jennifer Avegno said the mandate takes effect Wednesday at 6 a.m. and will apply to participants in the annual Mardi Gras balls that take place in the city.

Avegno said Louisiana’s statewide coronavirus daily hospitalization numbers have grown in three weeks “by a factor of seven.” She said those cases have put a strain on hospitals, with emergency room waits as long as 12 hours in some facilities.

Growing numbers of coronavirus cases, driven by the omicron variant can affect treatment for people seeking treatment for other illnesses or injuries, Avegno said.

And, while Avegno said she’s hoping cases will subside in coming weeks, she added hospitalizations and deaths show up weeks after cases are reported. That could mean continued pressure from coronavirus cases about the time emergency rooms face an annua uptick in patient numbers as Mardi Gras nears and tourists, some of them overindulging in alcohol, flood the city.

Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, falls on March 1 this year. Major parades, which draw as many as a million locals and visitors to city streets, begin in the last two weeks of February.

The city already has a requirement that people show proof of vaccinations or negative tests for entry into bars, restaurants and numerous other venues.

Mardi Gras in 2020 became what officials later realized was an early Southern superspreader of COVID-19. Festivities were largely canceled last year. This year, officials are determined to proceed with Mardi Gras events, while enforcing vaccine and testing requirements.

The state health department said Tuesday that just over 1,900 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Louisiana as of Monday, up from about 200 in mid-December.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

An Amtrak train which derailed after striking a dump truck is seen beyond a corn field Monday, June...
Associated Press

NTSB investigators look into fatal Missouri Amtrak accident

MENDON, Mo. (AP) — Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board were in Missouri Tuesday trying to determine how an Amtrak train carrying more than 200 people slammed into a dump truck, killing two train passengers and the truck driver. Amtrak’s Southwest Chief was traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago Monday afternoon when it struck […]
8 hours ago
Associated Press

Nissan recalls about 323K SUVs; hoods can open unexpectedly

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nissan is recalling nearly 323,000 Pathfinder SUVs in the U.S. because the hoods can unexpectedly fly open and block the driver’s view. The recall covers Pathfinders from the 2013 through 2016 model years. The automaker says in documents posted Tuesday by U.S. safety regulators that dust and dirt can accumulate on the […]
8 hours ago
FILE - Shoppers shop at a retail store in Niles, Ill., on Feb. 19, 2022.   U.S. consumer confidence...
Associated Press

US consumer confidence tested as economic anxiety grows

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers were less confident again in June as persistent inflation and rising interest rates have Americans as pessimistic as they’ve been about the future in almost a decade. The Conference Board said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index slipped to 98.7 in June from 103.2 in May, the second straight monthly […]
8 hours ago
Associated Press

Biden arrives in Spain looking to buck up weary NATO allies

MADRID (AP) — President Joe Biden arrived in Spain on Tuesday to meet with fellow leaders of NATO with plans to beef up the American presence in Europe at a moment of growing concern about the alliance’s resolve in the face of the grinding war in Ukraine. White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said […]
8 hours ago
The Nirvana, a sleek 88-meter-long superyacht worth about $300 million, owned by Vladimir Potanin, ...
Associated Press

Yacht of wealthiest Russian oligarch docked in haven Dubai

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The man considered to be the wealthiest oligarch in Russia, who has been photographed playing ice hockey with President Vladimir Putin, joins a growing list of those transferring — or, sailing — their prized assets to Dubai as the West tightens its massive sanctions program on Russia’s economy. Vladimir […]
8 hours ago
Associated Press

Ukraine to start electricity trading with EU neighbors

BRUSSELS (AP) — Ukraine will start trading electricity with neighboring European countries later this week as it continues to move away from Russia’s sphere of influence, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) said on Tuesday. The Belgian-based association, which represents dozens of transmission system operators in Europe, said the first phase […]
8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
As Mardi Gras nears, New Orleans brings back mask mandate