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Reopening New Orleans: Here are some of the requirements the city wants to meet first

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a close up of a sign: Reopening NOLA © Provided by WDSU New Orleans Reopening NOLA

Some of New Orleans' most frequented spots continue to resemble that of ghost towns as restrictions remain in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

There are some business leaders who would like to see the city begin to open up some of its industries when the state's stay-at-home order is lifted at the end of the month.

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Mayor LaToya Cantrell has instead extended the city's own stay-at-home order through mid-May, citing concerns that while New Orleans is improving its outlook, more work needs to be done to prevent any possible COVID-19 spikes.

Some of the business owners believe the city could reopen in phases at the start of May, but Cantrell has stressed she will look at the data from health experts to make a decision.

So what will it take for New Orleans to get back to business?

Here's a look at the requirements:

  • Sustained low COVID-19 cases
  • Increased testing
  • Looking at available hospital capacity
  • Ability to isolate new cases

Health experts believe testing is the key to identify those who are sick, isolate them and begin the process of contact tracing.

City officials said when New Orleans meets the requirements, it will be able to enter into phase one of reopening guidelines. That means there will be some loosening of restrictions on nonessential businesses.

One of Cantrell's concerns about the coronavirus in New Orleans is that with the city being a tourist destination, it could attract a spike or second wave of the outbreak due to people traveling from communities where COVID-19 hasn't been controlled.

"When these criteria are met, please understand this will still be a carefully phased process to avoid another spike in the #COVID19 outbreak," NOLA Ready tweeted.

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