Sheriff Craig Webre has announced an update to impacts on the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office in reference to the statewide mask mandate enacted by Governor John Bel Edwards – the latest development in the ongoing public health emergency involving COVID-19.
Per the Governor’s proclamation, effective July 13, 2020, every individual in Louisiana is required to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth when inside a commercial establishment or any other building or space open to the public, whether indoor or outdoor. There are exceptions including children under the age of eight and individuals with medical conditions. The proclamation also limits all bars to curbside delivery or drive-through service only, and crowd sizes are limited to 50 people with some exceptions. A full list of exceptions is included in the Governor’s proclamation.
Regarding enforcement, the Governor’s proclamation states that citations “shall be written only to businesses or organizations, other than religious organizations, that fail to enforce the requirement to wear face coverings.” The proclamation also indicates that GOHSEP and the State Fire Marshal are directed to ensure compliance. Therefore, anyone wishing to report someone for not wearing a mask at an establishment should do so to an employee of that establishment. If the response is unsatisfactory, you may then contact the State Fire Marshal at 1-800-256-5452.
“We are not the ‘mask police,’ but we do have a duty to uphold the law,” said Sheriff Webre. “The Governor’s order does not give the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office the authority to issue citations or arrest anyone for not wearing a mask. We will, however, enforce all other applicable laws, including any broken as a result of someone being asked to wear a mask. We strongly encourage everyone to comply with the Governor’s order and to respect our business owners and employees who are simply trying to follow the mandate.”
In the spirit of cooperation with the Governor’s proclamation and the public, Sheriff Webre has also announced that all employees of the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office will wear a face covering when interacting with the public in person. Likewise, all members of the public will be required to wear a mask upon entry to any LPSO facility unless exempted by the Governor’s order. Masks will be provided for those without one. Signage will be posted outside each facility with further direction.
“Our deputies and employees will honor this mandate just as we hope our citizens will,” said Sheriff Webre. “The Governor’s proclamation has several exceptions, so please be aware that just because you see someone not wearing a mask, it does not mean they are in violation of the Governor’s order. We know some people will find any way around wearing a mask, but we hope the majority of Lafourche Parish citizens understand the reason for the mandate and comply as part of the greater effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community.”
For more local information regarding the ongoing fight against COVID-19, please go to LPSO.net/coronavirus.