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New Orleans Gets A "Stay Home Mandate" From Mayor Cantrell

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Ashley Dean
/
WWNO
The French Market in New Orleans sits quiet and empty admidst government-ordered shutdowns in response to the spread of coronavirus.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued what she called a "stay home mandate" in a press conference late Friday afternoon.

Residents must stay home whenever possible, going out only for critical needs, she said. "We are telling our people and businesses to stay home."

In response to a question near the end of the press conference, the mayor said, "It is a shelter-in-place."

Critical businesses are expected to remain open, including health care providders, grocers, pharmacies, banks, newsrooms, and take-out and drive-through restauarants. Cantrell said businesses such as hair salons will now have to close.

"We are prepared to enforce at every single level," she said.

That includes police officers writing citations, code officers visiting businesses , and officers breaking up large gatherings of people.

All New Orleans police officers, regardless of deployment, have been mandated to be in uniform, the mayor said.

Cantrell also said the city government is moving toward limited functions and operations, and will only provide "basic city services."

New Orleans Health Department Director Jennifer Avegno said the order means New Orleanians should not leave home except to go to the doctor, get groceries, or go to work performing an essential service.

She emphasized a now familiar refrain: "The decisions you make today will save lives, or they won't."

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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Ashley Dean is the digital news editor for New Orleans Public Radio. Before coming to New Orleans, she was the editor of Denverite, a digital news startup now under the Colorado Public Radio umbrella. Prior to that she was a copy editor and features writer at the Denver Post, and before that, a music reporter for the Colorado Daily. She graduated from Columbia University with a master's degree in journalism and from Northeastern University with a bachelor's degree in journalism.
Patrick Madden joined WWNO in 2019 as its first-ever Regional News Director, overseeing news reporting at WWNO, as well as our partner station WRKF Baton Rouge. Madden also serves as one of the hosts of Louisiana Considered, and co-hosts Friday's Politics Roundtable on Louisiana Considered with Stephanie Grace, columnist for The Times-Picayune | The Advocate.

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