New Orleans Bars Close for the Second Time Due to Increase in Coronavirus Cases
"Public health officials believe going to bars is a higher public health risk than visiting other types of businesses..." the governor said.
Bars in New Orleans have closed their doors once again due to a rise in coronavirus cases.
Over the weekend, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards issued new restrictions that limit bars to serving only takeout or delivery after partially reopening in June. Alcohol-wise, bars are allowed to serve packaged liquor and beer and frozen daiquiris for delivery or takeout, The Associated Press reported.
According to a news release shared on Saturday by Edwards' office, "Louisiana has identified at least 36 outbreaks, impacting at least 405 people, involving bars...Public health officials believe going to bars is a higher public health risk than visiting other types of businesses because people are socializing and cannot wear masks when they drink. In addition, young people under the age of 30 make up the largest percentage of new COVID cases in Louisiana."
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell supported the order that also bans physically sitting at a restaurant bar, but allows patrons to enjoy table service.
"Restaurants remain at 50% capacity, but bar seating is prohibited," she wrote on Twitter. "Gathering sizes, for indoor events hosted privately or at a business, are limited to 25."
The state, which is in Phase 2 of their reopening is requiring everyone to wear masks in public, including at church, "unless you are performing outdoor recreation," New Orlean's tourism site reads.
Retail stores, malls , gyms, salons, and tattoo parlors (by appointment only) are open as well as museums and zoos which are by reservations only. Live music venues remain closed.
The newest order to partially close bars was added to the Phase 2 ordinance as the city and state saw a regression in their progress towards mitigating COVID-19.
“We have lost all the gains made in June and are seeing some numbers that rival our peak back in April,” Edwards said at a recent news conference, per The AP.
Currently, there are over 82,000 cases of coronavirus in Louisiana, according to the state's Department of Health.