Eunice Mayor Scott Fontenot
City operations overcome lockdown
Eunice Mayor Scott Fontenot said the city continues to provide services despite its offices being locked off from public access due to the coronavirus, COVID-19.
The public is asked to refrain from close contact with city employees, he said.
The city’s firefighters have received personal protection equipment to shield them from exposure to the virus, he said.
In addition, 911 operators are asked to screen calls for the coronavirus.
Fontenot said the city received N95 masks for police to use.
As of Tuesday afternoon Fontenot said there has been no Eunice resident testing positive for the coronavirus.
“That could change any minute. I don’t think anybody is going to be immune. Eunice is not going to miss this,” he said.
“Don’t be alarmed if they do,” he said of a positive test.
If people feel ill with the virus symptoms they should call their health care provider. General information is available by calling 211.
The city has eliminated overtime to all employees except those in the police and fire departments, he said.
The expectation is the city’s revenue from sales taxes is going to reduced.
The city closed its library and museum, but has kept other services open, he said.
“This is different from any other disaster or emergency situation we’ve ever dealt with. Obviously, this is new to everyone,” he said.
Fontenot said it was only a matter of time before the parish established a curfew, which has gone into effect from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. seven days a week.
“We’ve been through things in south Louisiana before. Our people have experience in dealing with disaster, but this is a different kind of disaster that is going to hurt everybody,” he said.
Business owners, large and small, and employees are uncertain about what they are going to do, he said.
“We don’t have a wealthy population in Eunice... we have a lot of people in town and those are the people that live check to check,” he said.
On Sunday, Gov. John Bel Edwards ordered all but essential businesses to close to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“We are not going down,” Fontenot said.
But there a major implications if the lockdown remains in place for two or three months, he said.