Rising Covid cases force organizers to cancel New Orleans Jazz Fest.

By Traci Carl

Growing numbers of Covid-19 cases have forced organizers to cancel Jazz Fest in New Orleans, scheduled for October, officials said Sunday.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, planned for Oct. 8 to Oct. 17, blamed the cancellation on the “exponential growth of new Covid cases in New Orleans and the region and the ongoing public health emergency.” Ticket holders will receive emails soon outlining refund options.

The festival, normally held in the spring, had been moved to the fall in the hopes that vaccinations would make the event possible.

Covid-19 infections hit a record high this month in Louisiana, with the state reporting 4,600 daily cases over the past seven days, according to a New York Times database. Hospitalizations are up 140 percent to a daily average of 2,037, and deaths have risen 193 percent to an average of 30 a day.

Louisiana reinstated indoor mask mandates earlier this month to try to help contain infections that have been fueled by the state’s low vaccination rate and the highly contagious Delta variant. Only 37 percent of the state’s eligible population has been fully vaccinated.

Many employers have canceled or modified return-to-the-office plans and schools are debating mask mandates, but Jazz Fest was one of the first major events to be canceled amid a wave of infections that Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has called the “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

On Wednesday, the 2021 Auto Show in New York was also canceled because of rising Covid cases and new requirements that anyone going inside a restaurant or other indoor venue show proof of at least one vaccine dose.

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