French Market hosting free COVID-19 testing Tuesday and Wednesday

(Photo: The French Market in 2017. | xiquinhosilva/CC)
The French Market will host a free, walk-up COVID-19 testing set on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The testing site is in partnership with the New Orleans Health Department and will be located at the Flea Market space located at 1235 N. Peters St. from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 30 and July 1.

Oral swab tests will be given, with results available in three to four days.

Appointments, insurance and IDs are not required.

Only people not showing symptoms are asked to get tested at this location. If you are showing symptoms or believe you may have been exposed to coronavirus, call the Louisiana Department of Health directly at 877-766-2130.

The Louisiana Department of Health on Monday reported 7,796 and 532 cumulative coronavirus cases and deaths, respectively, in Orleans Parish.

WWL shows naked guy in front of Lafitte’s bar on live TV

(Photo: @salobonavia | Twitter)
A naked man was filmed by WWL on live TV during a Saturday report on the Phase Two reopening of the French Quarter.

The man was completely naked, except for shoes and the surgical face mask, and briefly appeared during reporter Meghan Kee’s live Saturday late afternoon broadcast in front of Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar at the corner of Bourbon and St. Phillip streets (pictured above).

The man was a participant in the World Naked Bike Ride held in New Orleans on the same day the city entered Phase Two reopening from COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

New Orleans enters ‘Phase 2’ reopening June 13; bars allowed to operate with limited capacity

(Photo: The intersection of Toulouse and Bourbon streets on March 9, 2020. | Infrogmation/CC)
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced on Tuesday that the city will enter “Phase 2” of reopening from COVID-19 lockdown restrictions on June 13, allowing bars without permits and outdoor pools to operate at 25% capacity with distancing requirements.

Phase 2 in New Orleans officially starts at 6 a.m. on June 13. The city is the last part of the state to move out of Phase 1 reopening. The rest of the state entered the second phase of reopening on June 5. The city entered Phase 1 reopening on May 16.

The next phase also increases the capacity to 50% for bars with food permits, barbers and hair salons and tattoo parlors, among other businesses.

Operations that continue to remain closed include festivals, indoor live entertainment venues and arcades.

The pandemic shutdown has particularly impacted the city’s hospitality industry workforce, which make up more than a quarter of jobs in the French Quarter, according to U.S. Census statistics, however the neighborhood is poised to spring back to life after allowing bars to reopen and increasing capacity in restaurants.

Cantrell issued a March 16 proclamation that closed the vast majority of businesses in the French Quarter — including bars, nightclubs and requiring restaurants to close in-dining spaces and switch to deliveries or to-go orders — in order to halt the spread of coronavirus.

The mayor planned a phased reopening of the city based on several factors. Phase 2 reopening factors include sustained and available testing, sufficient health care testing, effective contact tracing and no dramatic spikes in coronavirus cases.

The Louisiana Department of Health on Wednesday reported 7,247 cumulative cases of coronavirus and 513 deaths in Orleans Parish. The disease was first detected on March 9, according to New Orleans public health officials.

For complete information on Phase 2 reopening in New Orleans, visit ready.nola.gov.



Hotel Monteleone reopens after 2-month COVID-19 shutdown

(Photo: digboston | CC)
The Hotel Monteleone reopened on June 1, the first time since shutting down in March following the mandatory business shutdowns in New Orleans to prevent spread of COVID-19.

The hotel opened with policies in place, such as social distancing, to reduce coronavirus spread between guests, employees and the community.

The iconic hotel, which was built in 1886, has 570 rooms and is known for the Carousel Piano Bar and Lounge, which is a rotating bar.

The bar was allowed to open in the March 16 “Phase 1” reopening of businesses because it also sells food.

Louisiana entered “Phase 2” reopening on June 4, which also allows bars to reopen at 25% capacity. New Orleans is the only part of the state that’s still in Phase 1.