Starting Jan. 3, 2022, proof of vaccination or a negative test will be required for everyone ages 5 and up at restaurants and public places. Children will have to show proof of at least one dose, and proof of two doses starting in February.
This means parents have a week to begin a vaccine series for their children if they want to go to restaurants or visit public places in New Orleans.
"Starting in January you need to start getting your children vaccinated," Cantrell said.
Cantrell said that the move was made to keep people safe ahead of the holiday seasons as well as for Carnival Season. This comes as the omicron variant continues to spread across the city of New Orleans. Dr. Jennifer Avegno with the New Orleans Department of Health said average cases have nearly doubled. Omicron is expected to become the dominant strain here locally by the New Year.
The vaccine is at least 70% effective against omicron, which is down from at least 90% against delta. Avegno stressed the importance of booster shots during this time in increasing effectiveness.
Health officials said while 80% of the adult population in New Orleans is fully vaccinated, the numbers are much lower for those ages 5-17. They are 27% fully vaccinated.