Rising cases of Covid-19 in Louisiana have led to the cancellation of the New Orleans Jazz Fest for the second year running, organizers announced Sunday.
Louisiana broke its record for Covid-19 related hospitalizations on multiple days last week, with 2,421 individuals hospitalized with the virus on Friday. The same day it reported 6,116 new cases, according to the US Centers for Disease Control. The annual jazz festival will not take place “as a result of the current exponential growth of new Covid cases in New Orleans and the region and the ongoing public health emergency,” the festival said in a statement on its website.
The festival, which normally takes place over two weekends in late April and early May, had been moved to October earlier this year. Previously announced acts for this year’s Jazz Fest included the Rolling Stones, which was scheduled to play at the 2019 festival and had to cancel due to an illness from Mick Jagger. Other acts that were booked for the 2021 Jazz Fest included Foo Fighters, Lizzo, and Dead and Company.
“We now look forward to next spring, when we will present the Festival during its traditional timeframe. Next year’s dates are April 29 — May 8, 2022,” the festival posted on their website. “In the meantime, we urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by public health officials, so that we can all soon experience together with the joy that is Jazz Fest,” it said. Jazz Fest in 2020 was also canceled due to the pandemic.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell reintroduced a mask mandate for the city on July 30, saying, “Thanks to the Delta variant, the Covid pandemic is once again raging out of control.” The mayor is also requiring all city employees to get vaccinated. Just 37.4% of Louisiana’s population is fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
On August 2, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards reinstated a mask mandate for the state that went into effect Wednesday and lasts until at least September 1. “The least onerous thing we can do to try and curb transmission and give some breathing room back to our hospitals is to reinstate the mask mandate,” he said. Edwards has said capacity at his state’s hospitals is “absolutely strained.”
ARTICLE: PATEL CHAITANYA
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NEW YORK TIMES
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