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Superdome renovation crew has 32 COVID-19 cases

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Superdome officials say positive COVID-19 tests have come back for 32 workers contracted to perform stadium renovations.

A statement released by the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District on Tuesday says affected workers have been “isolated away from the job site.”

“This post-Memorial Day increase is consistent with what 21 other states, not including Louisiana, are experiencing at this stage of the pandemic as more restrictions have been lifted for travel, shopping, and work,” the Superdome statement said.

Workers with positive tests will be required to complete a protocol compliant with Centers for Disease Control guidelines and document to general contractor Broadmoor LLC that they have had a negative test result before being permitted back at the job site, Superdome officials said. Remaining workers now are also under stricter rules including the required use of masks.

The state-owned Superdome currently is undergoing $450 million in renovations that have been deemed “essential” by Gov. John Bel Edwards. The dome is slated to host the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four in 2022 and the Super Bowl in 2024. The work includes the replacement of original ramps with new stairs, escalators and elevators; more spacious concourses; and new concession areas and bathrooms.

Work has proceeded uninterrupted since the new coronavirus pandemic spread to the United States earlier this year. The average number of workers on site each day is about 275, a Superdome spokesman said.

Superdome officials say they and Broadmoor have made sure workers have access to personal protective equipment and hand-washing stations. Officials also say work spaces have been sanitized daily and that Broadmoor has implemented staggered work and break times to promote social distancing.

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