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NOLA officials: Events this week canceled, stay calm

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Posted at 6:24 PM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-10 19:25:39-04

New Orleans officials held a press conference today, canceling several upcoming events in the city - but asking citizens to stay calm.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell said that all St. Patrick's Day events, including the parade, are canceled, as are all Super Sunday Mardi Gras Indian event and the Wednesday at the Square events.

You can watch the presser below.

Officials said they are in contact with organizers of the French Quarter Festival and with Essence, and with all large scale local events. They've been preparing for COVID19 for months now, and they're looking at everything long-term as well.

Collin M. Arnold, Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said his department is working with at-risk facilities, like nursing homes, as well as health care providers, to keep communication lines open.

"As New Orleanians, we're no strangers to emergencies," he said. "Treat this like hurricane season. Stay informed, stay ready and heed our warnings."

Two more presumptive positive - meaning Louisiana testing was positive for the virus, but it hasn't been confirmed by the CDC - were announced today for the city.

"We are in the contact tracing process for our three residents who are positive/presumptive positive," Cantrell said.

Officials said about 50 or 60 Louisiana residents have been tested so far, using protocol set by the CDC. As commercial tests go online, those numbers are expected to increase. There's no info yet on how many tests will be available commercially, but Cantrell said the city "is advocating for as many as possible."

Cantrell said she's trying to model calm for the citizens of the city.

"We want people to stay calm. We want people to stay informed, and let the facts truly guide them, but at no time be alarmed," she said. "I'm really trying to demonstrate to the public by being calm, listening to the experts and professionals and being an example for our citizens and residents."