NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — On Tuesday morning, Dr. Avegno, Director of the New Orleans Health Department (NOHD) held a press conference to discuss the growing concern of COVID-19 in the parish.

According to Dr. Avegno, the City of New Orleans has seen a steady increase in positive cases for several weeks. The City has also seen an overall rise in COVID-19 levels in wastewater samples.

Because of these numbers, Orleans Parish officially meets the criteria to move from the low-risk category to medium-risk, according to CDC metrics.

The City’s average daily case count is currently 155. That is five times more than it was a month ago.

Dr. Avegno advises the public to test early and often. “If you’ve been exposed, and many of us have in recent days, test immediately upon learning of the exposure, and then test several days later. If you start developing any symptoms, anything, from runny nose, sneezing coughing, fever bod,y aches, I feel really tired, I’m having some stomach issues. COVID can present in many many ways, so take that test.”

Because New Orleans is on the cusp of a surge, Dr. Avegno and the NOHD are strongly advising the public to return to indoor masking in public spaces. Wearing a high-quality mask has been proven to significantly lower the risk of viral transmission. KN-95 and surgical masks will be available at some local fire stations, and library locations will be coming soon.