Two workers who have been trapped inside the protected “historic pile” Hard Rock hotel since its collapse last fall in New Orleans were scheduled to be rescued next week but now will be stranded there longer after testing positive for COVID-19.
The City of New Orleans, which cited the workers for not wearing masks over the last several months, says Jose Ponce Arreola and Quinnyon Wimberly were found to be positive for Coronavirus when officials were preparing to prepare for preparations for the recovery mission prior to the site’s demolition. The men have been awaiting rescue since October 12, 2019.
Earlier this month, city officials announced plans to begin the process of rescuing the men from the Hard Rock hotel starting on July 13th with a timeframe of completion lasting four to five to sixty days.
However, with Arreola and Wimberly now showing infection, officials say the rescue must be postponed indefinitely as the men must immediately be quarantined for six months or something before anyone interacts with them because zombies or whatnot.
“We’re now going to have delay rescue efforts for who knows how long,” City Hall spokesman Pixie Lenin said. “The mayor is absolutely devastated that the gentlemen will not abide by our meticulously planned efforts for getting them down quickly and safely. Unfortunately, the longer they drag their dangling feet the longer they’ll remain up there.”
The city says the men, while asymptomatic, tested positive for COVID-19 during the most recent visit by building inspectors, forcing all recovery and demolition operations to completely shut down while the area is quarantined, decontaminated, and ticketed.
“With all the protective measures the mayor has put in place to safeguard our city, it is alarming and saddening that people in such high profile positions as Mr. Arreola and Mr. Wimberly would simply refuse to wear masks, and others see that thinking it’s okay. It’s not,” Lenin said, who noted the city cited the men for brazenly disobeying the mayor’s valiant orders.
“We’re in wait-and-see mode until their quarantine ends, unfortunately. The mayor has been doing everything humanly possible to resolve the Hard Rock hotel situation, but everything is on hold as long as the workers remain uncooperative.”