SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Face masks soon may be required throughout Caddo Parish.
Shreveport’s mask mandate, announced Monday, goes into effect at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Now, as expected, Caddo commissioners will consider mandating the use of face masks or some other form of face covering throughout the parish.
And when the Caddo lawmakers meet in special session virtually at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, they also will consider whether to implement a COVID-19 threat level system.
The parish’s proposals note that:
- the incidence of coronavirus has increased significantly in recent weeks,
- Louisiana's rolling seven-day average of new cases is 1,284 and trending upward,
- more than 200 COVID-19 patients are being admitted to hospitals each day,
- hospitalizations and ventilator usage again are trending upward, and,
- people have increasingly been seen in public places without wearing masks.
So Caddo is considering mandating that workers and patrons wear masks or facial coverings.
If adopted, the order would go into effect immediately and would be in force for 30 days unless it’s extended.
The mandate would apply to vehicles for hire as well as governmental offices and facilities, restaurants, retailers, hotels, grocery stores, gyms, pharmacies, indoor recreational facilities and other establishments.
Face masks also would be required in public places where 10 or more people are gathered and social distancing is not possible or is not being practiced. This includes any outdoor area that is open and regularly accessible, including common areas in private communities that are accessible to more than one housing unit.
Caddo’s proposal would task the operators of businesses and other establishments with:
- posting signage informing patrons that masks are required,
- monitoring whether customers are wearing masks,
- making masks or facial coverings available to any patron who does not already have one,
- asking a customer to leave if he/she refuses to wear a mask.
If a person who has been directed to leave fails to do so, they can be charged under the Louisiana law against remaining on the premises after being forbidden to do so.
As for businesses, those that fail to comply with the parish’s mask mandate would first be warned and given an opportunity to take any corrective actions before a citation would be issued. The citation would carry a penalty of up to $250 for the first violation and up to $500 for each additional violation.
Repeated failure to require employees to wear a face mask or another type of facial covering could result in the suspension or revocation of an occupancy permit or business license.
Also up for consideration Wednesday is implementation of a COVID-19 threat level system.
The threat levels would be Level 1 severe (red), Level 2 significant (orange), Level 3 moderate (yellow) and Level 4 minimal (green).
Each threat level includes actions for residents to take, such as:
- Stay home (red),
- Minimize all contacts (orange),
- Stay vigilant (yellow), and,
- Resume normal contacts (green).
The resolution includes much more detailed directives.
Below are the two Caddo proposals to be considered Wednesday: