Sheriff explains mask mandate
St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s deputies will only become involved in enforcing the state’s masking requirement if management requests them, Sheriff Bobby Guidroz said in a statement.
Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a proclamation effective Monday that included a requirement for the wearing of facial covers (masks covering the mouth and nose) at any commercial establishment and government buildings open to the public whether indoor or outdoor where strict social distancing cannot be maintained.
The proclamation also closed bars and limited crowds in indoor facilities to no more than 50.
“The aspect of the proclamation that has caused the most confusion is enforcement of the mandatory face covering requirement. I have received inquiries from residents and business owners alike as to whether they can expect a citation or arrest for failing to abide by the new rule,” Guidroz stated.
Responsibility for compliance rests with businesses, organizations and government officials who manage facilities open to the public, he stated.
“These groups must require that persons entering their premises wear a face covering unless they fall under any of the exceptions listed in the order. Citations referred to in the Governor’s Order cannot be written to individual citizens as per the order itself,” he stated.
Legal enforcement responsibility as to businesses and organizations lies with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness as well as the State Fire Marshal, and all complaints should be directed to those agencies, he stated.
“The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office urges all citizens to respect the concerns and health of vulnerable members of our population including the elderly. Some may not have the luxury of constantly being able to stay at home and must obtain groceries and other services. If not for yourself, please be considerate of them,” he stated.