The Lafayette City Council will meet in emergency session tomorrow to discuss a local mask mandate.
The ordinance, which was placed on the agenda by Councilman Glenn Lazard, would mandate "masks or facial coverings in certain establishments and public places, requiring businesses and organizations to require all employees, customers and visitors to wear a mask or other face covering in certain circumstances."
The meeting will start after the regular council meeting. The council meetings start at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow, with a parish council meeting during which council members will consider an appointment to the Lafayette Parish Library board. Given recent events and controversies, that discussion is likely to be lengthy.
The mask ordinance proposed by Lazard, would require masks or face coverings in any governmental or public building, or commercial establishment, in the city. It would include medical facilities, bars and restaurants, and movie theaters. Masks would be required of all employees who have direct contact with the public, and also of anyone entering or leaving the building, or walking around inside it.
Children younger than 8 would be exempt, although masks are still encouraged for them. If you can stay six feet away from people outside your household it's not required, and you can take off the mask while eating or drinking. Also exempt would be people talking to someone who has a communication problem, people with medical conditions that don't allow medical conditions, people participating in organized athletic activities, people giving a speech to an audience, and people temporarily removing their mask for identification purposes.
Citations for violations are for business owner/operators - except for religious organizations - who are in charge of the building. The first offense will be a verbal warning, the second will be a written warning, and the third will be a misdemeanor citation. The ordinance calls for anyone who refuses to comply and/or then refuses to leave the premises to be arrested for trespassing.
Here's the ordinance: