New Orleans takes first steps toward reopening
NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans began taking its first steps Saturday toward loosening two months of restrictions on businesses, restaurants and houses of worship.
The city is restricting buildings to 25% of capacity and requiring restaurants, nail salons and other businesses to only take customers by reservation. Malls and retail stores can reopen, but casinos, video poker, live entertainment and bars are still closed.
Officials are still urging people to stay home as much as possible and requiring people to wear masks in public unless exercising.
The coronavirus struck New Orleans so quickly in March there were worries the pandemic would overwhelm the state health system. Hospitalizations have been going down for nearly a month, but officials warned a spike in cases or deaths could lead to putting restrictions back in place.