St. Martin Parish President Chester R. Cedars
April 8, 2020
7:00 P.M.



I remind you that the Parish website has been revised to provide a specific page for COVID-19 information and updates. Please visit for all information relative to the coronavirus.


At a briefing this afternoon, I learned that an activity has evolved whereby property owners are placing stuffed animals in the windows of their homes and/or at various spots on their lawns. Then, parents and their young children, while remaining in their vehicles, drive around looking for the “hidden animals.” Frankly, I have no issue with this practice SO LONG AS IT IS DONE ON A RANDOM AND INDIVIDUAL BASIS. On the other hand, if the activity is organized such that a large group of people assemble at a designated place and/or time, thus resulting in a caravan or parade-type event, then it would be violative of the principles inherent in the Stay At Home Order(s). Moreover, the potential for abuse is enhanced.

Along these same lines, today I issued an Executive Order strictly prohibiting the sale of alcohol beverages by virtue of delivery, curbside, or drive-thru services. Primarily, though not exclusively, this order address daiquiri shops and similar businesses. Specifically excluded are grocery stores, restaurants, cafes, or coffee shops as referenced in Section 2(D) of the Governor’s last and most comprehensive Stay At Home Order, 41 JBE 2020.

Since day one, bars and lounges have been ordered closed. Similarly, drive-thru tobacco stores are prohibited for being opened for business. Candidly, there is absolutely nothing “essential” about such business ventures, and on many fronts, I am disappointed that it was necessary to have to issue a special order on such an obvious issue.


According to the LDH report released today at noon, the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the State is 17,030 and 652 deaths. The number of reported positive tests in surrounding areas continues to rise at a rate in excess of the state’s rate. In our region, there were 1,013 positive cases with 30 deaths:

Lafayette Parish: 285 cases, 10 deaths
Calcasieu Parish: 191 cases, 4 deaths
St. Martin Parish: 112 cases, 4 deaths
Iberia Parish: 97 cases, 5 deaths
St. Landry Parish: 86 cases, 4 deaths
Acadia Parish: 86 cases, 2 deaths
St. Mary Parish: 81 cases
Jeff Davis Parish: 28 cases, 1 death
Evangeline Parish: 25 cases
Vermilion Parish: 22 cases, 1 death

No one is immune from this virus. Therefore, we must continue to practice the hygienic measures which have been recommended by health officials throughout the country and adhere to the restrictions which our state and local governments have imposed.


I remind everyone that we are constantly monitoring the water levels throughout the Parish especially in Butte La Rose, Stephensville, and Belle River. Also, in Stephensville and Belle River, we encourage our citizens there to avail themselves of the self-service sand locations behind the carwash at Dorion’s Landing in Stephensville, and across the highway for the fire station in Belle River.


Today, the Acadiana Planning Commission issued a message from all of the Parish Presidents in the region. I had the distinct honor of authoring a portion of that statement and hereby offer in addition thereto these comments directed specifically and specially to all of St. Martin Parish.

This time of the year is very important to our community as we celebrate the Easter Holiday. There are many secular and non-secular events and activities which surround this most cherished holiday which include the crawfish boils with our friends, neighbors, and family on Good Friday, good spirited Easter Egg Hunts, and of course, a congregant worship day on Easter Sunday.

Unfortunately, our lives will be much different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictive measures which have been imposed in an effort to stymie the spread of this disease. In fact, we are now receiving reports of COVID-19 rapidly and aggressively spreading in our rural communities. Therefore, despite joyful and rewarding traditions we associate with Easter, we must resist the urge to engage in the usual gatherings and activities to which we have grown accustomed at this time of year. It is extremely important that we continue to practice social distancing, limit our gatherings to only a select few, and adhere to all of the other measures which have been imposed in order to stymie the spread of COVID-19.

As a Nation, as a State, and as a Parish, we shall prevail and get through this crisis. Indeed, next year we will be able to celebrate Easter in all the ways to which we have grown accustomed. Moreover, I submit that next year, as we recall the trials and tribulations of 2020, we will undoubtedly savor like never before the opportunity to enjoy our family and friends, and to worship at our chosen churches.

I wish all of you a Happy Easter.