Jefferson, Orleans: 2 coronavirus responses; 2 results

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As of Wednesday, the Louisiana Department of Health reported Jefferson Parish had 9,003 reported cases, while Orleans had 7,610.

NEW ORLEANS — Two of Louisiana’s most populated parishes, Jefferson and Orleans, which neighbor each other, lead the state in coronavirus cases, but how each parish moves through the reopening process has been different. 

Both parishes have been averaging more cases per day since entering phase two, but Jefferson Parish leads Orleans, seeing a spike in recent days.

“This is the first big numbers we’ve seen in over two months, so that’s very difficult for us to have to see on the dashboard,” said Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng.

Sheng said she believes an increase in activity contributed to the spike, and recent new cases weren’t part of any backlog or increased testing. 

“Our concern is that people are just letting their guard down, and that as things look more normal, you’re kind of lulled into thinking that things are more normal. They’re certainly not,” said Sheng. 

As of Wednesday, the Louisiana Department of Health reported Jefferson Parish had 9,003 reported cases, while Orleans had 7,610. Those numbers are since the outbreak began.

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In New Orleans, Mayor Latoya Cantrell fired off a warning to residents, visitors, and businesses in Orleans Parish.

“Everyone has a responsibility,” said Cantrell.

Cantrell said she had no problem shutting the city down if phase 2 guidelines weren’t followed. 

“We’re not getting the level of response and respect from the community and our visitors. That we desperately need,” said Mayor Cantrell.

New Orleans has been a bit more restrictive than the rest of the state, even making face masks mandatory. Mayor Cantrell is even issuing a warning about large gatherings, saying police will be cracking down. 

“We have to double down on our efforts. It is just that important,” said Mayor Cantrell. 

In Jefferson Parish, it’s a bit more relaxed. Face masks are strongly encouraged but not required. Sheng said concern has been growing about businesses that refuse to comply.

“You do have some businesses out there that are just not complying, and it’s getting to be known. We’re going to work very closely with our state fire marshal’s office in making sure. We want compliance. It’s the right thing to do,” Said Sheng. 

While their approaches may be different both leaders said individual responsibility plays a bigger role than anything they can do.

RELATED: Cantrell threatens to shutdown New Orleans ‘without any hesitation’ if COVID-19 rules aren’t followed

RELATED: Governor Edwards extends Phase 2 for Louisiana for 28 more days

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