New Orleans to require vaccine, negative COVID-19 test for indoor activities

The mayor of New Orleans on Thursday announced that vaccines or proof of a negative COVID-19 test will be required to enter indoor venues, including bars, restaurants, gyms and music halls, as the city battles a rise in COVID-19 cases, WWL-TV reported.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya CantrellLaToya CantrellCurfew on New Orleans lifted following Hurricane Ida Louisiana revokes licenses for nursing homes that sent residents to warehouse during Ida New Orleans mayor vows 'accountability across the board' for senior living complexes after Ida MORE said that the order, which will go into effect on Monday, said the measure would help the city ward off a second shutdown.

"We have to make sure that we keep our businesses open. That is a priority. We have to keep our children in school. This is a priority," Cantrell said, according to the CBS affiliate. "(The vaccine) is our only way out of this virus.

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"All options will always be on the table," the New Orleans mayor explained. "One of the things that I definitely am not in favor of at this particular time is a shut down. We can’t take it."

According to city data, New Orleans reported 329 new cases on Thursday and 295 the day before. In comparison, the city saw 133 new cases on July 12. The city started to see a gradual uptick of new COVID-19 cases toward late July. 

Overall, the city has seen 39,400 cases and 839 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

About 75 percent of adults in New Orleans have received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine and 66 percent are fully vaccinated.

New York and San Francisco have also said that they will require people to show proof of vaccination to enter into public places, WVUE reported.

Los Angeles indicated that it aims to do the same after its city council asked its city attorney to craft an order saying that residents need to be at least partially vaccinated in order to go into public facilities and businesses, KTLA noted

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Areas around the U.S. have seen an increase in new COVID-19 cases among unvaccinated populations where the delta variant continues to spread.

About 45 percent of Louisiana’s population have received one dose and roughly 38 percent are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Mayo Clinic.

In comparison, about 59 percent of the total U.S. population is partially vaccinated and 50 are fully vaccinated, per data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).