Yesterday New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s administration announced that the city will return to Phase 2 of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Beau Tidwell, director of communications for Mayor Cantrell said the restrictions will be in place for three weeks, through Mardi Gras. Tidwell said restaurants and other most other businesses will be able to expand to 50 percent of their maximum occupancy. Special events like wedding reception or other parties will be limited to ten people indoors, 25 people outdoors. New Orleans Health Department director Dr. Jennifer Avegno says events like that differ from normal restaurant activity in that people are moving about and mingling with each other, as opposed to remaining seated a table with a small group. The changes go into effect at 6 a.m. Friday.
In addition, Orleans Parish School Board Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis announced that beginning Monday, February 1st, students Pre-K through 8th grade will return to the classroom for in-person learning. They will follow the same learning model they had when they left school back in December. High School students in grades 9 through 12 in Orleans Parish will return to the classroom in a phased approach after the Mardi Gras break.