Breaux Mart taking a day off on Sunday

The Breaux Mart at 3233 Magazine St., along with the others in the local supermarket chain, will be closed Sunday (March 29) to give its employees a rest, according to posts on the store’s social media accounts. While most employees will get a chance to sleep late and put their feet up for a while, crews will be working behind the locked doors on some deep cleaning, sanitizing and restocking, store managers say. Breaux Mart has also won praise for its finesse in the art of social distancing. The store has reserved the 8 to 9 a.m. hour on Tuesdays for shoppers ages 60 and up.

Early morning fire rages through strip mall on Washington Avenue in Broadmoor

A three-alarm fire broke out early Wednesday in a strip mall on Washington Avenue in Broadmoor. It caused extensive damage to the building that housed eight stores, fire officials report. The alarm sounded at about 2:45 a.m., and firefighters had the blaze under control by about 5 a.m. No injuries were reported. 

Only a convenience store in the 4100 block of Washington Avenue, near Eden and Dupre streets, was operating under the pandemic restrictions, and it was closed at the time of the fire, WWL-TV reported. In addition to the convenience store, the affected businesses include Dem Fire Sno Balls, J&B Cleaners, Tattoos, Nola Nails, Rusty’s Po-Boys and Seafood, Emerald Services (a tax preparation and financial planning business), and Karmah Tattoo Supply and Gallery, according to a Google search.

Gov. Edwards orders everyone in Louisiana to stay at home

Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statewide stay-at-home order today that goes into effect at 5 p.m. Monday (March 23) to further fight the spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana, as the number of confirmed cases have topped 800 and spread to more than half of of the state’s parishes. “In Louisiana we have taken aggressive measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve; however, this is not enough. As our number of cases continue to grow, I am directing all Louisianans to stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary for you to leave,” Edwards said. The stay-at-home order follows similar guidelines to the order issued by Mayor LaToya Cantrell on Friday. The cases of COVID‑19 in New Orleans on Sunday climbed to 451, with 15 resulting in death.

City expands drive-thru testing to anyone with symptoms

The New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and the New Orleans Health Department announced Saturday that, beginning Sunday (March 22), drive-thru COVID-19 testing will be available to anyone with a fever and other symptoms.

The two drive-thru COVID-19 testing locations in Orleans Parish can perform up to 100 tests per day, per site. They will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. or until the 100-test cap has been reached. The testing sites are:
• Mahalia Jackson Theater parking lot, 1419 Basin St. • University of New Orleans Lakefront Arena parking lot, 6801 Franklin Ave. Upon arrival at a site, individuals will be required to remain in their vehicles and to provide identification and health insurance information, although everyone will be tested regardless of whether or not they have insurance, city officials state.

Motorcyclist killed in Central City crash

A motorcyclist died after striking a car in Central City on Thursday, the New Orleans Police Department reported. The victim, a 53-year-old man, was on Magnolia Street and Martin Luther King Drive at about 5:20 p.m. when he struck a sedan, the police report states. Initial reports indicate he was traveling at a high rate of speed and was not wearing a helmet. The Emergency Medical Service took him to a hospital, where he later died. The driver of the car stayed at the scene to speak to investigators.

Viewpoint: Movies about New Orleans to watch during self-quarantine

By Sue Strachan, Uptown Messenger

When a movie says it is set in New Orleans, it is hard not spending most of the time trying to pick out landmarks and laughing at what the filmmakers got wrong. So, with many of us at home watching TV, it’s a great time to check out movies and TV shows that showcase New Orleans, and remind us why we love it. Here are a few of my recommendations, plus where to find them. (True confession: I talk about movies on “Hollywood Highlights” on WWL-TV’s Great Day Louisiana.)

I have divided into “Watch Now!”; “That’s Not Right!”; “Vintage”; “Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward collaborations,” and “Mardi Gras.” I am not choosing any movies about Hurricane Katrina or pandemics, such as “Panic in the Streets,” as I don’t want to trigger anything in these stressful times. Watch now!

Where to find help if you’ve lost income because of COVID-19 closures

With New Orleans a hotspot for the pandemic, officials have put in place a daunting array of restrictions and closures that have disrupted the life — if not the livelihood — of nearly every New Orleanian. Hundreds of New Orleans workers have been impacted by COVID-19 related closures. If you’ve experienced a loss of income because of the coronavirus pandemic, here are some resources to help you through, including unemployment compensation; relief funds for gig workers, musicians, bartenders and others; help for small businesses; counseling for stress and more. Gig-worker relief fund
The New Orleans Business Alliance announced on March 17 that it had set up a dedicated relief fund to meet the needs of the gig economy workers, many of who have been adversely affected by the loss of income. This includes ride-share drivers, musicians, arena workers and festival production staff.

COVID-19 updates: Revenue collection; financial impact on city; updates from courts, Parks and Parkways, Youth Works

From the Mayor’s Office
Mayor LaToya Cantrell on Tuesday announced that, response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the city is waiving fines, fees, interest and penalties on sales tax payments due to the city for 60 days. In addition, the City will extend the renewal period for alcoholic beverage outlets, or ABOs, up to 30 days without penalty. “The impacts of COVID-19 are going to leave a mark in history for the city. How we respond to this pandemic will define us. My No.

‘Most people won’t survive’: Local stores grapple with economic effects of coronavirus

By Sharon Lurye, Uptown Messenger

The economic effects of coronavirus reverberated across New Orleans on Monday, with local store owners describing feelings of bewilderment and anxiety as they considered how the virus would affect their bottom line. While some are cautiously optimistic, others have despaired of being able to keep their business alive through the pandemic. “If it lasts for months, then most people won’t survive,” said Bettye Barrios, owner of the home goods store Aux Belles Choses on Magazine Street. “We’ve been here 29 years and I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Just one customer entered Barrios’ shop on Monday. She sells linens, soaps, and gifts, many imported from France and England, but she had to cancel an upcoming business trip to Europe.