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Cook withdraws support for mask mandate in Lafayette Parish

COVID-19 mask generic
Posted at 4:09 PM, Feb 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-02 23:02:19-05

Nanette S. Cook, Lafayette City Council, District 4, issued a statement Tuesday on withdrawing support for a local mask mandate.

Councilwoman Nanette Cook and Councilman Glenn Lazard revived an effort recently they abandoned last summer to pass a Lafayette Parish mandate. Read more here.

The mandate will still be introduced by Lazard who will move it forward.

After numerous conversations with constituents and members of our medical community, I have decided to withdraw my support for a local mask ordinance.

As a lifelong member of this community, I have found it heart-breaking to see the devastating effect that Covid-19 has had on Lafayette Parish. As a member of the City Council, I believe that it has been my duty to do everything I can to help keep our community as safe as possible under the circumstances. And it was in that spirit that I joined the recent discussions to consider a temporary ordinance to require the wearing of masks in certain situations, primarily indoor spaces frequented by the public. I believed that such a temporary commitment to a slight inconvenience would help our community stay safe and help us more quickly return to life as we knew it before Covid.

I have heard the concerns of certain constituents who are troubled about the prospect of government overreach, and I have spoken with several medical professionals – some of whom doubt the efficacy of such public mask ordinances. Moreover, I appreciate the concerns regarding the practical difficulties associated with the enforcement of such a mask ordinance.

With the recent surge in the infection rate apparently returning to its pre-Holiday levels, and with the ongoing vaccine rollout, I have reason to be encouraged that the worst may be behind us, hopefully making more aggressive measures unnecessary.

Regardless of our motivation, though, whether arising from our concern for our neighbors or whether in begrudging compliance with a governmental mandate, it is incumbent on all of us to do what we can to stem the tide of this virus. We all know someone who has been affected by this terrible virus and we all want to get back to how life used to be in pre-Covid times. And the sooner each of us takes personal responsibility, not only for ourselves but for our neighbors as well, the sooner we will be rid of this affliction.

Although I will be withdrawing my support for a local mask ordinance, I would like, nevertheless, to personally plead with each of you to do your part. Like many in our community, I have not been able to visit my mother in the nursing home in several months and am saddened by the isolation our elderly loved ones have had to endure. Nevertheless, we must continue to stay vigilant and protect our most vulnerable if we are to put this episode behind us.

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