Nearly 15 years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is facing another test of its ability to prepare for potential disasterBy KEVIN McGILL and REBECCA SANTANA Associated PressMarch 28, 2020, 2:10 AM5 min readNEW ORLEANS — There were the great fires of 1788 and 1794 and the multiple yellow fever outbreaks of the 1800s. Hurricane Betsy hit in 1965, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the memories linger in New Orleans like remnants of a bad dream. Now the city is one of the nation’s hot spots for coronavirus. As of Friday, New Orleans and neighboring Jefferson Parish had recorded more than 80 of the state’s 119 COVID-19 deaths and more than 1,700 of the state’s 2,700-plus known cases. The numbers have been climbing fast, in part because increased testing is revealing more people to have the disease. Why New Orleans has become a hot spot is uncertain, although medical experts and government officials openly speculate that the annual Mardi Gras celebration in late February was a factor. It draws more than a million tourists and locals to city streets each year. Gov. John Bel Edwards has repeatedly warned that the state’s health care system could be overwhelmed by early April. Louisiana

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