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Lafayette Mayor-President not mandating mask despite recommendation of health experts

Posted at 11:23 PM, Jul 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-10 00:32:01-04

"I do think it would be helpful for it to be required...for masks to be worn."

Despite recommendations from health experts, a mask mandate is not coming to Lafayette anytime soon.

Lafayette is one of the state's new hotspots for COVID-19 and amid the surge, some have wondered why we don't see a mask mandate like other parts of the state.

That question played a big part in today's news conference at Lafayette Consolidated Government.

The mayor-president isn't budging on the issue. Guillory says he's relying on the community to take necessary measures to prevent to the spread.

"A mask mandate would be difficult to enforce. I strongly encourage the use of masks when social distancing is not possible," said Guillory.

Mayor-President Guillory's position conflicts with health experts on the COVID-19 task force.

"I certainly wish from my viewpoint that it was mandated because frankly I don't quite see a way out of this if we don't follow those guidelines," said Dr. Tina Stefanski.

With Lafayette seeing a surge in cases, the mayor is urging citizens to do their part, even without a mandate.

"No government regulation is as effective as you and I implementing good common sense, good measures based on the medical advice that you're hearing today," said Guillory.

"I don't see a way out of this anytime soon and I hope I'm wrong, but that's kind of where we are," said Stefanski.

Although Guillory says enforcement would be the issue, several other communities in Louisiana are enforcing face masks.

Wednesday, Shreveport became the latest area to issue a mask mandate, following the city of New Orleans, Jefferson Parish, and East Baton Rouge Parish.

Congressman Mike Johnson said a lawsuit will be filed on Friday against the City of Shreveport over its recent mask mandate.

The congressman said in a post on Facebook Thursday that, while he thinks it’s a good idea to encourage people to wear a mask, he doesn't believe the city has the authority to force people to do so.

A petition calling on LCG to issue a mask mandate now has more than 32,000 signatures.

To encourage everyone to wear masks, LCG will be distributing free masks starting Monday. If you need a mask, you can go to Lafayette City Hall or to the Library's drive thru window.

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