NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans says it does not wish to shut down any businesses over its vaccine/testing mandate, and the city will help businesses get in compliance as long as they are operating in good faith at trying to make the system work.
City spokesman Beau Tidwell said the 311 system has received about a dozen calls over alleged violations to the vaccine mandate, but that upon further inspection the businesses were trying to comply, or they were exempted from the rules.
Tidwell emphasized said only businesses that have patrons indoors for prolonged periods of time must comply with the new rules. The mandate does not include essential businesses where people are in and out quickly - like grocery stores and pharmacies.
Tidwell said city leaders are pleased with the results of the vaccine or testing mandate.
"The mandate is working. Since August 12, we've seen vaccinations grow by five percent overall," Tidwell said.
He added that New Orleans has added nearly 12,000 first-time doses (about 3 percent of the parish) since the new rules were put in place. As of Tuesday, more than 55 percent of New Orleans' population has been vaccinated.
"That's significant progress," Tidwell said, adding that new cases in the city have dropped. Tidwell says New Orleans is reporting on average 236 new cases per day compared to 288 per day reported a few weeks ago.
The New Orleans Saints' vaccination program before Monday night's game against Jacksonville was able to get about 100 people vaccinated.