LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — A mask mandate will not be enforced by the Lafayette Police Department. The Lafayette City Council made the decision by a vote in an emergency meeting Tuesday night.
It was not a unanimous decision. The council was split 3-2 on racial lines. The citizens were also divided.
There is still a state mask mandate in effect, but the Lafayette City Council doesn’t see the need to enact its own. That means it will still be entirely up to the State Fire Marshal to enforce it, not local law enforcement.
3,059 people called into city hall about a mask mandate. 999 people were in favor of it. 2,060 were opposed.
Lafayette Resident Eli Odinet asked, “Why should healthy people be punished for ensuring that they stay in shape and have a highly tolerant immune system? Admittedly at the beginning of this cold, everyone was frightened for their lives, but I believe we’ve reached a point where the mask order, social distancing, and lockdowns have done more damage than the virus.”
District 5 Councilman Glenn Lazard penned the ordinance. “Think about the lives that have been lost,” Lazard said. “There is absolutely no doubt that wearing a mask along with the other protective measures that have been mentioned slow the spread of this deadly virus.”
Doctors, citizens, and even a woman widowed because of COVID-19 spoke in favor of the mask mandate. Others said the opposite or refused to enter city hall when stopped for not wearing masks.
District 1 Councilman Pat Lewis also spoke in favor of the ordinance. None of the three who voted against it gave a comment.