“We’re not doing it because the governor said to do it. We’re doing it to save lives of people in our community.”-Mark Garber, Lafayette Parish Sheriff
LAFAYETTE, La. — Lafayette Parish officials are encouraging everyone to save lives in its strongest social distancing requirements yet.
Following Governor John Bel Edwards lead, Mayor-President Josh Guillory told all non-essential businesses to close effective immediately starting Monday afternoon (March 23).
“We will continue to use whatever resource we have available to us under the law to enforce this order, but again, we aren’t under martial law. We’re under the order of common sense”, Guillory said in a press conference.
State police, parish deputies, and local police departments are all enforcing new emergency orders limiting the operations of non-essential businesses,
Making sure the Center for Disease Control’s social distancing guidelines are being followed.
The CDC recommends limiting groups to no more than 10 people while maintaining a six-feet distance between people. Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mark Garber said he’s going to appeal to people’s common sense and reason foremost in the case of any violation,
“The idea is to not ride in with guns blazing. We’re not going to be heavy-handed about it”, explained Garber. “We’re going to talk to people. We’re going to find out what’s going on…Find out if they fully understand what the reason is for these restrictions.”
Garber said the reason is to save lives, “When I put in those terms for my staff, when I talk about what we’re going to do, what we’re not going to do, that seems to line it up for everybody.”
The sheriff shared violations so far have been very, very low, and he thanked the community for its compliance now and in the future.
“It’s an inconvenience on everybody”, Garber said. “I’m proud of our community for all pitching in.”
According to Garber, people can call 911 if they witness any violations of new or old restrictions in process. That parish 911 call center will redirect the call to the corresponding agency.
We also spoke to state police today who said people can help by stopping the spread of false rumors. Troopers encourage you to make sure you are posting verified information.