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New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced that, effective Monday, August 16, vaccines or proof of a negative COVID-19 test will be required to enter indoor venues in The Big Easy, including bars, restaurants, gyms and music halls.
Like many areas across the country, New Orleans’ COVID cases are on the rise.
“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 local CBS affiliate. “(The vaccine) is our only way out of this virus. All options will always be on the table. One of the things that I definitely am not in favor of at this particular time is a shutdown. We can’t take it.”
The Delta variant, a strain of the virus that is not necessarily more dangerous but more easily transmissible, has been surging for the last two weeks across the country. According to city data, as reported by The Hill, New Orleans had 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.
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.