Residents Urged to Take Extreme Caution as COVID-19 Numbers Rise, Potential Closings Loom

View it in your browser.

City of New Orleans Logo


Dec. 23, 2020

Contact: LaTonya Norton

For Media Inquiries Only
(504) 658-4962

Residents Urged to Take Extreme Caution as COVID-19

Numbers Rise, Potential Closings Loom

NEW ORLEANS — The City of New Orleans today urges residents to exercise extreme caution while celebrating the holidays this week and to prepare for the possible closure of bars and breweries next week, as COVID-19 continues to spread at a dangerous rate in New Orleans.


“We have been concerned for weeks about the rising number of cases as well as the continued loss of life, and what that might entail as the City moves forward in response to this third surge. This is our most critical time, period — an extended holiday season, with an increase in visitors to New Orleans and the temptation for gatherings. I strongly urge our residents and visitors to do everything possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19. While difficult, the safest way to celebrate this holiday season is sticking to your own household. If you do plan to gather with people who do not live with you, keep the number of people as small as possible, ensure everyone is wearing a mask at all times, clean your hands, host gatherings outside, and be especially mindful of high-risk individuals,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.


“The greatest gift you can give your loved ones this year is to come together by staying apart,” said New Orleans Health Department Director Dr. Jennifer Avegno. “With vaccine administration already underway, there is a clear light at the end of the tunnel. We just need to keep each other safe through these next critical months.”


Average new cases of COVID-19 are hovering around 130 per day, which is significantly higher than the stable trends seen over multiple months this fall when daily cases were under 50. Unfortunately, deaths are also on the rise both locally and around the state. On Monday, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) reported 65 COVID-19 deaths statewide, which is the highest number of deaths reported in a single day since July 29. Hospitals in the New Orleans area continue to have capacity; however, they are seeing an increase in local patients, and also receiving transported patients from around the state where other hospitals are overwhelmed, further stretching the healthcare resources here.

The percent of tests with a COVID-positive result is on the rise in Orleans Parish as well. LDH reports today’s positivity rate to be 5.3% in New Orleans. In accordance with State of Louisiana emergency orders, bars and breweries will be required to close to indoor seating if the rate of positivity exceeds 5% for two weeks in a row, which could happen next Wednesday, Dec. 30, should the data not improve.


For a list of holiday safety tips, visit Also, learn more about the data by accessing the COVID-19 New Orleans Dashboard here.



# # #