St. Martin Parish President Chester R. Cedars
April 1, 2020
4:30 P.M.

IMPOSITION OF CURFEW

This morning in my daily update conference with OEP and law enforcement personnel, we again discussed the wisdom of a curfew. Special note was made that all of our neighboring parishes had imposed, or would be imposing, a curfew. To maintain uniformity in our region, and to ensure maximum protection for our communities, I decided that the time and circumstances now warranted the imposition of a parish-wide curfew, effective immediately. This afternoon this decision was discussed with the Mayors and police chiefs of our municipalities who embraced my decision. The curfew is from 10:00 P.M. until 5:00 A.M. and applies to the ENTIRE PARISH-incorporated areas and non-incorporated areas. Of course, our citizens in Stephensville and Belle River are also covered by the curfew. Moreover, the curfew applies to adults and minors. Nevertheless, there are three notable exceptions:

  1. Emergency personnel-fire, police, and ambulance
  2. Anyone going to and from employment
  3. Any essential business activity SPECIFICALLY defined by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructural Security Agency

Essential will be deemed to mean just that-ESSENTIAL. Law enforcement is fully cognizant of what and who are “essential” based upon my conference today.

There are many reasons for this particular curfew, not the least of which is to limit the movement of the general public within our region-not just St. Martin Parish. Also, as I have commented many times before, the virus does not move-people do.

As we do with all situations in this crisis, we will continue to evaluate and make decisions as circumstances evolve, change, or develop. Thus, if a need to revise the curfew, or any other measure for that matter, presents itself, I will act accordingly.

POSITIVE CASES

The LDH report released today reflects that there are 6,424 COVID-19 positive tests in Louisiana and 273 deaths. The number of reported positive tests in surrounding areas is 487 with 10 deaths:

  • Lafayette Parish: 159 cases, 2 deaths
  • Calcasieu Parish: 90 cases, 1 death
  • Iberia Parish: 49 cases, 1 death
  • Acadia Parish: 47 cases, 1 death
  • St. Martin Parish: 41 cases, 3 deaths
  • St. Landry Parish: 31 cases, 1 death
  • St. Mary Parish: 26 cases
  • Evangeline Parish: 11 cases
  • Vermilion Parish: 10 cases, 1 death
  • Jeff Davis Parish: 9 cases

There is a 23% increase, statewide, in the number of positive tests. However, in the parishes in our area, the increase from yesterday is 33.4%- an increase from 365 positive tests to 487. This is much better than yesterday, and hopefully we will experience a steady decrease. I will continue to ask that all of us continue to remain vigilant in adhering to the Stay at Home Order issued by the Governor on March 22, 2020.

JOINT STATEMENT REGARDING STAY AT HOME ORDER

Today, Parish President Larry Richard of Iberia Parish and I released a Joint Press Release regarding the importance of complying with the Stay at Home Order of the Governor. Both of us wanted to emphasize that the success in reducing/eliminating the spread of COVID-19 depends on unified measures within our region. Indeed, this has been my message for quite some time and is the approach which all of the leadership in St. Martin Parish took several weeks ago. President Richard also adopted this stance long ago, and I appreciate his leadership in this arena.

BUSINESS ASSISTANCE

My remarks from yesterday merits repeating relative to assistance which will be/is available to our business community:

Recently enacted federal legislation has appropriated significant money for assistance to small business operations. The below infographic and the attached flyer provided by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce explaining the Paycheck Protection Plan were sent to me by Jennifer Stelly of the St. Martin Parish Economic Development Authority.

I encourage you to contact Ms. Stelly with any questions which the foregoing information may prompt. Her contact information is set forth on those graphics. Also, as I reported yesterday, Lafayette Parish is disseminating packages which outlines the various programs which are being offered for small business impacted by the current crisis. This information also provides data for workers whose jobs may have been terminated. The material can be obtained at the drive-through window at Lafayette City Government building between 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. More information on this program can be obtained by dialing 311, and selecting option 2 from the menu.