OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) — Officials from each of the municipalities in St. Landry Parish announced they will be allowing so-called “gray area” businesses to reopen at 6 a.m. Tuesday, April 28, so long as they conform with a series of restrictions.
Gray area businesses comprise a large number of establishments not officially closed by Gov. John Bel Edwards proclamations regarding COVID-19.
Watch the full press conference below:
The “soft reopening” is being allowed through a parishwide executive order, according to Director of Emergency Preparedness Van Reed. The restrictions listed by officials mirrors those listed by Lafayette Parish officials earlier in the month.
Those restrictions include:
- Employees must wear masks.
- Employees showing symptoms must be sent to get tested or sent home.
- Customers must maintain a six-foot distance while shopping and in line.
- The max occupancy of any establishment must be no larger than 25% of the normal limit allowed by the state fire marshal’s office.
- No groups may congregate or loiter at a business withing 500 feet of the establishment.
- Customers with symptoms are being asked not to enter the stores.
Those who do not follow the parish order will have their power turned off and/or their business license revoked. The parish curfew, which runs from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily, remains in effect until April 30.
Opelousas Mayor Julius Alsandor pleaded with residents to continue to perform the necessary safety tasks to combat COVID-19, noting the parish must be “smart” with its reopening.
“We are still fighting this enemy virus,” said Alsandor. “…I can tell you, being a larger municipality here in St. Landry Parish, I desperately want to open, but open using good guidance, but also adhering to the medical experts.”
According to Reed, The executive order does not apply to restaurants, casinos, video poker establishments, movie theaters, bars, bowling alleys, fitness centers and gyms, carnivals, amusement parks, waterparks, trampoline parks, aquariums, zoos, museums, arcades, fairs, pool halls, children’s play centers, playgrounds, theme parks, all theatres, concerts and music halls, adult entertainment venues, racetracks, barbershops, beauty salons, nail salons, spas, massage parlors, tattoo parlors, and all malls, because those businesses cannot maintain social distancing and, therefore, they shall remain closed.