New Orleans has had some of the tightest restrictions in regards to combatting the coronavirus pandemic. The city, however, took a small step yesterday towards easing some of those restrictions by announcing that bars will be allowed to operate at 25% of their indoor capacity.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced yesterday that other changes will include an increase in the number of people allowed at indoor gatherings from 50 to 100. For outdoor gatherings, those numbers go from 100 to 150.

The new "Phase 3.3" restrictions will go into effect on Wednesday. This will bring the city closer to the eased restrictions imposed by the state. (Although the state allows for larger gatherings for indoor and outdoor events.)

You may recall that earlier in the year the city eased restrictions and allowed bars to open for a time, only to shut them down when the second surge of cases occurred. Since then, the city has incrementally eased restrictions.

City officials also addressed on Monday the announcement by Pfizer about a potential vaccine of theirs being 90% effective at preventing COVID-19. City health director Dr. Jennifer Avegno said the city has been working with the state and others in preparation of a vaccine, but she thinks it is still likely months away.

Avegno said that once a vaccine is available to the general public, health care workers and vulnerable populations such as nursing home residents will get high priorities.

Mayor Cantrell did also speak about the controversial religious music event held in the French Quarter this past weekend. She said organizers didn't comply with city guidelines and the city is looking into potential legal action.


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