New Orleans Begins Phased Re-Opening

A Guide to the New Normal

Data News Staff Edited Report

In the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic it’s created a New Normal for us all. As we move into a phased approach to re-opening, we at Data New Weekly as the “People’s Paper wanted to give our citizens information about how in New Orleans the process will occur.
Understanding that we all want to go back to life Pre-COVID-19 life in our City, but we must do all we can to abide by the instructions if we are to get back to our life where we can enjoy the greatest city in the world. We can only move forward in achieving this by doing what is required in each phase of the City’s re-opening plan.

Phase One: Safest at Home
Phase One will ease the Stay Home Order and restrictions on some low-risk operations, while implementing limits on occupancy, social distancing measures, and requirements for personal protective equipment. If milestones for progress are not met or if there is a spike in cases or deaths, it may be necessary to move back to stricter measures. Phase One in Orleans Parish will begin at 6 a.m. Saturday, May 16th.

Phase Two: Safer at Home 
Phase Two will ease restrictions on medium risk operations, while continuing limits on occupancy, social distancing measures, and requirements for personal protective equipment. Sector-specific guidelines will be in place to ensure safe operations. Large gatherings will continue to be prohibited due to the significant risk of rapid spread through groups. High-risk residents, like seniors and people with serious medical conditions should continue to stay home. When criteria are met, the City may ease restrictions and progress to Phase Three.

Phase Three: Safe for Most
Phase Three will ease restrictions on higher risk operations, while continuing limits on occupancy, social distancing measures, and requirements for personal protective equipment. Sector-specific guidelines will be in place to ensure safe operations. Large gatherings will continue to be prohibited due to the significant risk of rapid spread through groups. High-risk residents, like seniors and people with serious medical conditions should continue to stay home. When criteria are met, the City may ease restrictions and progress to Phase Four.

Phase Four: Safe in a Herd 
Phase Four will occur with a vaccine or widespread immunity in the population. It will largely resemble pre-COVID-19 life, although some restrictions may remain necessary.

What Stays the Same? 
• Continue to stay home except for essential needs and other permitted activities on a limited basis.
• Seniors and people with serious medical conditions should continue to stay home.
• Gatherings are limited to a household size. Limit the number of people with whom you regularly come into contact to a small and consistent “crew.”
• Everyone must wear a mask or face covering when performing activities in public. You do not need to wear a face covering while performing outdoor recreation, but you must abide by all social distancing and hygiene rules.
• Practice social distancing, wash hands often, and frequently disinfect surfaces.
• Continue to work from home if you are able.
• Stay home if you are sick.
• If you have been in close contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive, you must quarantine for 14 days.
• All non-essential businesses and organizations will continue to stay closed during Phase One, except under the following conditions, as outlined by the Governor’s Office and the Mayor’s Office. These exceptions are only allowed while paired with strict requirements for social distancing, face coverings and other PPE, and hygiene and cleaning protocols.

Operations Allowed in Phase One
If you intend to open an eligible Phase One business or organization in Orleans Parish, you are required to register with the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office at OpenSafely.la.gov. Also, all businesses are required to follow State Fire Marshal guidelines.

Shopping malls and retail stores
• Stores within malls with no exterior entrances remain closed.
Food service establishments
• Restaurants with table service should utilize a reservation or appointment
• Video poker is not allowed.
• Off-street parking requirements are temporarily suspended, and temporary Sidewalk Use Permits will be issued free of charge so you can expand outdoor seating.

Beauty salons, barber shops, and nail salons
• Service by reservation or appointment only.

Houses of worship
• Services are limited to 25% of permitted occupancy or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
• No choirs permitted.

Movie theaters
• Limited to 25% of permitted occupancy or 100 people, whichever is fewer.

Museums, zoos, aquariums
• Admission must be staggered using an appointment or reservation system.

Gyms and Fitness Centers
• Contact sports and group fitness classes are not allowed.
• No use of locker rooms, showers, saunas, or spas allowed.

Outdoor recreation spaces, sports complexes, parks, and playgrounds
• Gatherings limited to a household size.

Racetracks
• Casinos and video poker not allowed.

Not Allowed in Phase One
• Casinos and video poker (not allowed in Orleans Parish)
• Spas, Tattoo, and Massage establishments
• Live entertainment, Amusement, and event venues
• Children’s museums
• Bars without food permits
• Private gatherings with more than a reasonable household size

Data News Weekly Encourages all to continue to stay safe during this phased in re-opening, it not only will restore our City, it will save lives.

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