St. Martin Parish President Chester R. Cedars
April 1, 2021
9:00 A.M.

On March 30, 2021, Governor John Bel Edwards issued Executive Order 66 JBE 2021 which substantially removes most of the capacity restrictions which have heretofore existed. I have read the Order and submit the following outline for quick reference. However, I strongly encourage any business or organization to register and/or consult https://opensafely.la.gov/ for case specific guidance. THE ORDER IS EFFECTIVE BEGINNING TODAY AND CONTINUES UNTIL April 28, 2021.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 66 JBE 2021
MARCH 30, 2021

BUSINESSES WHICH MUST REMAIN CLOSED

No specific classification of businesses has been ordered closed.

BARS AND LOUNGES-SECTION 2(B)(8)

Bars may remain opened for indoor, on-premises sales and consumption. There are no capacity limitations. Also, the operation or restriction of bars is no longer dependent in any way upon a Parish’s percent positivity. Further, the Governor has not imposed any mandatory closing time although local ordinances will, as in the past, dictate the times of closure.

Also, all bars must follow these dictates:

  • Walk-up service is permitted but all patrons must return to their tables for consumption.
  • Tables must be “socially distanced,” meaning spaced 6 feet apart.
  • All bars are “ENCOURAGED” (NOT DIRECTED) to adhere to the regulations and guidelines established by the State Fire Marshal and the La. Department of Health regarding sanitization and disinfection.
RESTAURANTS, CAFES, AND COFFEE SHOPS-SECTION 2(B)(1)

There has been no change except that the business has no capacity limitations. The Executive Order does, nonetheless, provide that, “Any business operating pursuant to this Paragraph is ENCOURAGED to follow the applicable guidance from the State Fire Marshal published at https://opensafely.la.gov/ and the Louisiana Department of Health with regard to sanitization and disinfection.” (Emphasis supplied)

BEAUTY SHOPS, SALONS, AND BARBER SHOP-SECTION 2(B)(2)

There has been no change except that the business no longer has any capacity limitations. Moreover, the Executive Order does, nonetheless, provide that, “Any business operating pursuant to this Paragraph is ENCOURAGED to follow the applicable guidance from the State Fire Marshal published at https://opensafely.la.gov/ and their applicable regulatory board or agency with regard to sanitization and disinfection.” (Emphasis supplied)

SHOPPING MALLS-SECTION 2(B)(3)

There has been no change except that the business can now operate without capacity limitations. The Executive Order does, nonetheless, provide that, “Any business operating pursuant to this Paragraph is ENCOURAGED to follow the applicable guidance from the Louisiana Department of Health with regard to sanitization and disinfection.” (Emphasis supplied). Also, food courts must follow the mandates for restaurants.

CASINOS, RACETRACKS, AND VIDEO POKER ESTABLISHMENTS-SECTION (2)(B)(4)

There has been no change except that there are now no capacity limitations.

GYMS AND FITNESS CENTERS-SECTION 2(B)(5)

There has been no change except that there are now no capacity limitations. The Executive Order does, nonetheless, provide that, “Any business operating pursuant to this Paragraph is ENCOURAGED to follow the applicable guidance from the State Fire Marshal published at https://opensafely.la.gov/ and the Louisiana Department of Health with regard to sanitization and disinfection.” (Emphasis supplied)

ATHLETIC EVENTS-SECTION 2(B)(6)

The capacity for any stadium, sports complex, or arena remains at 50% capacity while adhering to the maximum social distancing possible between spectators, as determined by the State Fire Marshal. Alcohol can be sold at athletic events provided:

  • Consumption must be in the patron’s ticketed seat.
  • Signage is required relative to rules regarding consumption.
  • Alcohol must be sold only to patrons who are wearing face masks.

The Executive Order does provide that, “Any event held pursuant to this Paragraph is ENCOURAGED to follow the applicable guidance from the State Fire Marshal published at https://opensafely.la.gov/ and the Louisiana Department of Health with regard to social distancing, sanitization and disinfection.” (Emphasis supplied). Face coverings are required for all attendees and spectators.

EVENT CENTERS AND RECEPTION HALLS-SECTION 2(B)(7)

There has been no change except that any business in this category can now operate at 50% of its total capacity or 500 people, whichever is less, as determined by the State Fire Marshal. Patrons shall be seated and socially distanced and shall not congregate in groups outside of immediate household members. Restaurant guidance must be followed as set forth by the State Fire Marshal at https://opensafely.la.gov/. Moreover, the Executive Order provides that, “Any business operating pursuant to this Paragraph SHALL follow the applicable guidance from the State Fire Marshal published at https://opensafely.la.gov/ and the Louisiana Department of Health with regard to sanitization and disinfection.” (Emphasis supplied)

CONVENTIONS AND CONFERENCES-SECTION 2(B)(9)

No convention or conference shall exceed 50% of the total occupancy of the establishment, which is hosting the event, as determined by the State Fire Marshal. Social distancing is mandated. Waiting rooms, lobbies, or other areas where members of the public congregate (except bathrooms) shall be closed to the public. Any host must have a plan approved by the State Fire Marshal and must follow the applicable guidance published by the State Fire Marshal at https://opensafely.la.gov/ and the Louisiana Department of Health with regard to sanitization and disinfection.

ALL OTHER BUSINESS OR ORGANIZATIONS-SECTION 2(B)(10)

There has been no change except that the business can now operate without capacity limitations. The Executive Order provides that, “Any business operating pursuant to this Paragraph is ENCOURAGED to follow the applicable guidance from the State Fire Marshal published at https://opensafely.la.gov/ and the Louisiana Department of Health with regard to sanitization and disinfection.” (Emphasis supplied)

LIMITATIONS ON CROWD SIZES-INDOOR AND OUTDOOR-SECTION 2(C)

Under the current proclamation issued on March 30, 2021, 66 JBE 2021, crowd sizes shall be limited to no more than 500 persons in any single indoor space at the same time. As regards outdoor spaces, crowd sizes are limited to no more than 50% capacity as set by the State Fire Marshal if individuals will be in close proximity to one another and unable to maintain strict social distancing among non-immediate family members.

THIS CROWD SIZE LIMITATION DOES NOT APPLY TO ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES OR RELIGIOUS SERVICES.

FAIRS AND FESTIVALS SHALL SUBMIT A PLAN FOR APPOVAL BY THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL.

MASK MANDATE-SECTION 3

The mask mandate continues without any change whatsoever.

I again recommend that any business or organization with questions or issues consult and/or register with https://opensafely.la.gov/. Case specific guidance is available.

CLOSING REMARKS

I have received questions about whether I will impose any local restrictions which exceed the parameters of the Executive Order. THE ANSWER IS NO. THERE IS NO COGENT REASON TO DO SO.

With this current Executive Order, we have taken a SIGNIFICANT step toward a total re-opening and return to normalcy. The vaccines, which are becoming more plentiful, and a concerted effort to follow the mitigation measures for just a few more weeks will no doubt introduce even greater strides in this COVID-19 battle.

Finally, as regards the current relaxation of capacity limitations, I am constrained to remind the reader of these comments in my post from July 12, 2020:

“While on this particular subject, I note that I personally see no reason why we cannot open up to 100% capacity if there is mass adherence to these simple measures: social distancing, wearing of masks, and practicing basic personal hygienics such as frequent hand washing, sanitizing, etc.”

Indeed, those remarks mirror observations I first articulated in June, 2020.