LAFAYETTE, La. — Lafayette Parish is reaching out to businesses that fall under its safe shop guidelines.
Mayor-President Josh Guillory shared local law enforcement and other partners are distributing over 100,000 masks and performing compliance checks to facilitate reopening the economy.
“It’s different times that we live in but that doesn’t mean that we can’t try to find ways to spark our economy,” Guillory said in Wednesday’s press conference.
Lafayette was the first place parish in Louisiana to provide further guidance for businesses between those specifically closed or essential.
As the mayor-president put it, “Before safe shop they were completely closed.”
The Lafayette Economic Development Authority claims these “gray area” businesses make up 75% of the parish’s total businesses, so extra effort is going to implementing safe shop.
Sheriff’s deputies and police officers from each municipality will be conducting compliance checks, providing cloth masks that are required to prevent COVID-19’s spread.
The Lafayette Consolidated Government’s (LCG) Minority Affairs Office and One Acadiana are going door to door with masks specifically in hard-hit areas like districts one and five in Lafayette.
“We’ve got these masks as a tangible way to say we care,” shared Chief of Minority Affairs Carlos Harvin. He said employees will be provided two masks, one to wear and one to wash.
LCG is asking local businesses to try and source their own masks; however, if you can’t obtain your own, dial 311 then option two. You can also call your own city hall.
In addition to masks, the parish is taking more measures to make sure every business than can reopen safely does. Stores can receive or request a compliance sticker, so people can be assured where they shop is safe.
Mayor-President Guillory added Lafayette is already planning future loosening of some restrictions.
“I believe the next step that we’re going to consider, and obviously get the advice of our medical task force and medical leaders, is to maybe address that occupancy level,” Guillory stated.
The moves Guillory mentioned he is recommending to Governor John Bel Edwards.
Other areas of Acadiana are thinking to imitate them confirmed Region Four’s Office of Public Health Director Dr. Tina Stefanski.
“We’ve got lots and lots of parish officials we’re having the same conversation with,” she said
While most businesses are reopening with safe shop, doctors and officials warn we are still in the infancy of fighting coronavirus and urge people to only leave their homes when necessary and of course, follow the Center for Disease Control guidelines for cleanliness and social distancing.