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Updates on Louisiana's Covid 19 epicenter: New Orleans

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Posted at 11:12 AM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 16:42:21-04

As the number of Covid19 cases rose to 79 overnight in New Orleans, officials there are being more aggressive in trying to slow the spread.

New Orleans already has community spread, officials say, meaning some people have the virus without recent travel or contact with a known sick person. That means more people in the community could be spreading the virus as well, officials say.

UPDATE: Here are changes as of 3:30 p.m. Monday:

Mayor LaToya Cantrell filed a proclamation with the Civil District Court that called for several actions, effective tomorrow, including:

  • Closure of all bars, nightclubs and casinos
  • Restaurants will be required to end dine-in service and provide take-out and delivery only; drive-thru service will remain open
  • Closing movie theaters and malls
  • Closing gyms and health clubs
  • All high-intensity, frequent-touch service spaces will close
  • Limiting public gatherings altogether

Read the proclamation here.

Earlier Monday, officials released the following updates:

* This is a public health emergency. The decisions we make today will either save lives or not.
* There are now 79 presumptive positive cases in New Orleans, with clear indication of community spread. Two have resulted in death.
* Schools, recreation centers, and libraries are closed. City Hall will limit public access starting today and will institute temperature checks of all employees and visitors.
* Social distancing is absolutely critical right now to slow the spread, protect our vulnerable community members, and prevent the healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed.
* We are building a network of volunteer licensed medical professionals to assist in both clinical and non-clinical functions. To sign up, go to ready.nola.gov/volunteer
* If you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, stay home & call your doctor. If you don't have a doctor, call ‪1-855-523-2652‬. Don't go to a hospital unless you feel like you need to be hospitalized. We need to reserve hospital resources for those who really need them.
* For updates, text COVIDNOLA to 888777, go to ‪ready.nola.gov‬, or call 3-1-1.

Yesterday evening, Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued restrictions to restaurants, bars and clubs. You can read those here.

Last night, New Orleans Police were in the quarter, clearing the streets and using speakers to tell revelers that they are "jeopardizing public health."

Here's a post with some video: