An annual music festival in New Orleans has been postponed, again, as in-state Covid cases rise dramatically
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has cancelled its October dates “as a result of” the “current exponential growth of new COVID cases in New Orleans and the region and the ongoing public health emergency”, event organisers announced.
The festival was scheduled to take place 8 October to 17 October but has been postponed until next spring, “during its traditional timeframe”, the release said. The festival had already been postponed in 2020, breaking 50 years of springtime tradition.
“Ticketholders for both festival weekends (including those that rolled over their tickets from 2020) will receive an email this week with details about the ticket refund and rollover process,” organisers said. “All Wednesday, October 13 tickets will be automatically refunded.
“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 the joy that is Jazz Fest.”
Like many of its Southern neighbours, Louisiana has seen a surge in Covid cases while the Delta variant sweeps the country, particularly in vaccine-hesitant communities.
On Friday, the Louisiana Department of Health reported in a tweet that there had been 6,116 new Covid cases reported to the state, bringing the total to 573,903 since March 2020.
“The vast majority of these cases (97.2%) are tied to community spread rather than congregate settings like nursing homes,” the department tweeted. “This update represents increases across all age groups and regions of the state.”
It added that “2,421 people in Louisiana are hospitalized with Covid, an all-time high. The previous record high was 2,350 on 8/5/21. Sadly, we also report 48 #COVID deaths, bringing our death toll to 11,162.”
The same day, the state’s Democratic Gov John Bel Edwards tweeted: “Louisiana, we remain in a dangerous situation with COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations continuing to climb. Today is the fourth day in a row we have broken our own record for hospitalisations, threatening the ability of our hospitals to care for patients.”
At the end of last month, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell reinstituted the city’s mask mandate – which she’d previously lifted – and mandated that all city employees and contractors be vaccinated.