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UPDATE: ‘Safe-shopping clarification’ prompts soft re-opening of some small businesses previously closed due to stay-at-home order; Governor’s office responds

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- UPDATE: Lafayette City-Parish Mayor Josh Guillory’s Office has released correspondence from Gov. John Bel Edwards Office, which shows Thursday’s “safe-shopping clarification” announcement from LCG for certain businesses in the parish.

Read the response from the governor’s office below:

Josh,

We saw the announcement that Lafayette made yesterday on your “Safe Shop” policy and wanted to follow-up with you.  Your interpretation of Proclamation No. 41 JBE 2020, relative to business operations, is correct.   Section 2 of the Proclamation addresses business operations.  Section 2(A) provides for essential businesses.  Section 2(B) enumerates businesses that are specifically prohibited from being open to the public through the duration of the order.  Section 2(C) covers those businesses whose operation is not authorized under Section 2(A) or prohibited under Section 2(B).  As you noted, under 41 JBE 2020, all of the businesses that fall in the Section 2(C) category have always been authorized to remain open to the public for business under the number of persons and social distancing limitations contained in Section 2(C).

ORIGINAL: Some Lafayette Parish small businesses will be permitted to re-open if they adhere to social distancing guidelines. 

Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory was joined other parish elected officials Thursday to announce a “safe-shopping clarification” on business guidelines that he says align with state COVID-19 mitigation.  

Small businesses, such as furniture stores, clothing boutiques, jewelry stores and mom-and-pop grocery stores can operate business hours as long as they follow these distancing guidelines: 

  • All employees must wear masks 
  • Employees with COVID-19 symptoms cannot go to work 
  • Customers and employees must distance six-feet apart 
  • Symptomatic customers can be barred from a business
  • Businesses must manage customer capacity following state Fire Marshal guidelines

If your business doesn’t have the means to manage the number of customers in your store, don’t re-open Guillory said. 

Violating the distancing guidelines could lead to fees, utility cut offs or even jail time, the official said. 

Gyms, barbershops, and salons will remain closed as the state’s stay-at-home order remains in place until April 30.  

Guillory said the parish has been consulting with the state Department of Health and Hospitals, but did not confirm if the department approved the local guidelines.  

Anyone with questions about whether their business falls into “middle category” between essential and prohibited for hours of operation is asked to call 311 and dial 2 for the business resource line provided by LEDA.

You can watch the full April 16 briefing here:

 

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