Delta Variant > Delta Festivals? New Orleans Issue Advisory

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell held a press conference Wednesday, July 21, to draw attention to the rapid spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, announcing an indoor mask advisory. This is not mandatory — yet — but clearly there are real concerns about the numbers being seen in Louisiana and specifically in New Orleans. With that in mind, city officials and health professionals are strongly recommending that everyone, vaccinated or not, should wear a mask indoors.

“The delta variant is alive and very much well in the city of New Orleans,” Cantrell said. “This is the most immediate thing and the most tangible thing we can do to slow the spread.” 

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell. 📷: David Grunfeld, NOLA.com

However, this advisory is not mandatory except for New Orleans Public Schools, which will have a mask mandate for the upcoming school year. The general unenforced advisory “puts the responsibility on individuals themselves,” Cantrell said. “Don’t let us go back. The city cannot afford for that to happen.”

 

There are a number of events heading to the Crescent City which could be impacted should numbers continue to rise as we move through August and into September. Those include New Orleans Saints football games and many musical events, most notably:

French Quarter Fest — September 30 – October 3
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival — October 8 – 17
Buku: Planet B — October 22 & 23

From The Times-Picayune:

“Infection cases have surged statewide since the beginning of July, reaching to two thirds the height of last summer’s second wave on Wednesday, when the state reported a near-record of 3,264 confirmed and 2,124 probable cases in a single day. The increasing number of infections is also straining health care resources, officials said, with 844 patients with coronavirus in hospital beds as of Tuesday.”

We should remain optimistic about music events in New Orleans and these great festivals, but we must encourage people in Louisiana — and everywhere — to take this increased threat seriously.

We would hate to fall back on the maddening, frustrating refrain of “This is why we can’t have nice things.”

 

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