Amid soaring infections, mask and vaccine debates continue

COVID prevention practices were a subject of debate among tourists and locals alike this past week in the French Quarter, where compliance with the new mask mandate appeared spotty at times. Visitors outside a voodoo-themed shop on Bourbon Street dutifully masked up Tuesday as they entered. And masks were being worn in T-shirt and souvenir shops. They were less evident at several bars and restaurants.

In one dimly lit Bourbon Street haunt, musician Albert Ahlf, visiting from the New York City area, had a mask under his chin as he sipped a beer. He wasn’t happy about masks being required for vaccinated people. “I say it’s the responsibility of the individual to get vaccinated and if they don’t get vaccinated it’s on them,” said Ahlf. “At this point I think they’re overdoing it.”

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