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No Renewed Restrictions For NOLA As Percent Positivity Drops To 4.7

Ben Depp

Orleans Parish’s COVID-19 percent positivity rate has dropped from 5.2 percent last week to 4.7 percent this week. That means no reinstated restrictions, and New Orleanians can continue to sit inside bars at 25 percent capacity.

Last week, New Orleans Director of Health Dr. Jennifer Avegno warned residents that if the percent positivity remained above 5 percent as of Dec. 16, when the state published new data, the city would be forced to ban indoor service at bars and reduce indoor events to 25 people or less.

At a press conference Wednesday, Avegno and Mayor LaToya Cantrell thanked residents for heeding city officials' warnings.

“Many, many New Orleanians took this to heart and scaled back their activities. For that we are thankful because we all benefit,” Avegno said.

The mayor said whether the city sees new restrictions is “contingent upon how we act,” and that we are not “out of the woods.”

Avegno said that the numbers associated with COVID-19 in New Orleans are still “higher than we would like.” She called the city’s position and that of much of the country “fragile.”

She also pushed the safety and efficacy of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine currently being administered to front line hospital workers.

“Without the vaccine it’s really unlikely that the pandemic is going to go way within any reasonable chance,” Avegno said, emphasizing that the science behind the vaccines “has been in the works for years and years and years.”

Avegno got the first of two Pfizer shots yesterday and said she will continue to wear a mask, socially distance, and wash her hands frequently to protect those around her.

Bobbi-Jeanne Misick is the justice, race and equity reporter for the Gulf States Newsroom, a collaboration between NPR, WWNO in New Orleans, WBHM in Birmingham, Alabama and MPB-Mississippi Public Broadcasting in Jackson. She is also an Ida B. Wells Fellow with Type Investigations at Type Media Center.

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