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The scene in New Orleans on Aug. 30, a day after Hurricane Ida swept the state. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

New Orleans officials are investigating what Mayor LaToya Cantrell on Monday called "unacceptable" conditions in several senior apartments, after five people were found dead in the complexes in the wake of Hurricane Ida.

Driving the news: New Orleans Health Department teams discovered the bodies during wellness checks at senior apartment complexes, which found eight facilities unfit for occupancy, per a City of New Orleans statement Sunday.

  • The health department is investigating the facilities, while the coroner's office is looking into whether the deaths should be attributed to Hurricane Ida, which made landfall in Louisiana as a Category 4 storm on Aug. 29.
  • The storm prompted the evacuation of hundreds of people from the privately run complexes.
  • Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry's office is reviewing evacuation policies after 843 residents from seven nursing homes were sent to a Tangipahoa Parish warehouse — which he described as "apparently unsafe and potentially inappropriate," per WDSU.

What they're saying: "What we found was unacceptable and accountability will be across the board," Cantrell said at a news conference Monday.

  • "But right now we will remain focused on improving the conditions in the facilities that we closed. We will not see this happen again."
  • New Orleans City Council member Kristin Palmer said of the facilities during the news conference: "It's not independent living if there’s no power and you’re in a wheelchair on the fourth floor."

Of note: 13 deaths have been directly linked to Hurricane Ida in Louisiana.

Go deeper

Updated Dec 1, 2021 - Health

2 federal judges temporarily block Biden vaccine mandates

President Biden delivers remarks on the Omicron COVID-19 variant at the White House on Nov. 29. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

The Biden administration was temporarily blocked from enforcing COVID-19 vaccine mandates for millions of workers by federal judges in two states on Tuesday.

The big picture: The orders, by federal judges in Kentucky and Louisiana, come one day after a federal judge in Missouri halted the mandate, which has a Jan. 4 deadline, in 10 states.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker

Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates

A teacher prepares a hallway barrier to help students maintain social distancing at John B. Wright Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona, on Aug. 14, 2020. Photo: Cheney Orr/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) filed a lawsuit Friday against the Biden administration for ordering the state to stop allocating federal COVID relief funds to schools that don't comply with public health recommendations such as masking, the Arizona Republic reports.

Why it matters: The Treasury Department said last week that the state would have to pay back the money if Ducey does not redesignate the $173 million programs to ensure they don't "undermine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19."