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New Orleans tightens coronavirus restrictions as infections surge

New Orleans tightens coronavirus restrictions as infections surge
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New Orleans will re-implement more restrictive coronavirus regulations as cases of the virus surge in the city, officials announced Wednesday.

The city, currently in phase two of virus restrictions, will revert to its “modified phase one” beginning Friday, according to a notice on the city’s website. This will include 25 percent capacity limits on indoor dining and curtailed gatherings of people from different households.

The restrictions are set to last through the next three weeks.

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"Last week, our positivity rate was 5.5 percent, we've gotten our numbers for this week and we're up to 10.4 percent," Mayor LaToya CantrellLaToya CantrellNew Orleans to allow live music indoors for first time since pandemic began Colorado governor says state, local officials key to federal COVID response The Hill's Morning Report - Biden argues for legislative patience, urgent action amid crisis MORE (D) said in a press conference Wednesday announcing the restrictions. "You can't make it up. It's real."

"There is a light at the end of the tunnel with vaccines underway in Louisiana. But vaccines only work for those who are alive to receive the shot,” added New Orleans Health Department Chief Jennifer Avegno. "We need everyone's cooperation. If you can work from home, work from home. If you have a playdate, dinner party, sleepover ... please cancel it. If you are an essential worker, wear a mask at all times and keep your distance from others as much as possible."

On Wednesday, Louisiana’s health department reported an all-time high of 6,882 new cases and 46 additional deaths. The department also said hospitalizations for the virus have reached their highest level since the beginning of the pandemic last March.