St. Martin Parish President Chester R. Cedars
March 23, 2020
4:00 P.M.

PARISH GOVERNMENT CLOSURES/RESTRICTIONS

As you will recall, yesterday I announced our preliminary decisions regarding Parish Government affairs. My Directors and I felt compelled we act quickly to emphasize the importance of the Governor’s Stay-Home Order and to set a foundation for its implementation. This morning, we again met and specifically identified who we deemed “essential” and “non-essential” using both the Governor’s Executive Order and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency’s (CISA) guidelines as a backdrop. Thereafter, we re-established the parameters of my prior actions to insure full compliance with the written dictates and spirit of the Governor’s Executive Order without unduly hampering the Parish’s obligations. The most significant change addresses our Public Works Department which will resume full activities with the following restrictions:

• No more than 1 operator should be in a vehicle or equipment
• Unless absolutely necessary, no public works employee shall interact with the public
• There should be no congregating at any barn
• After each day, all units will be disinfected

A full listing of all departments is as follows:

Animal Shelter
• No surrenders or adoptions are allowed until further notice. Law Enforcement has limited drop-offs to only emergency cases. Selected personnel will clean and feed animals once a day.
Community/Civic Centers: All centers are closed.
• Belle River:  Belle River Recreation Complex is closed for events until April 13, 2020, or until further notice.
• Cade: Cade Community Center is closed for events until April 13, 2020, or until further notice.  All transactions for Cade Community Center and Water Works District #3 will be done at the drive thru window between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
• Catahoula: Catahoula Multipurpose Building is closed for events until April 13, 2020, or until further notice.
• Cecilia: Cecilia Civic Center is closed for events until April 13, 2020, or until further notice.
• Coteau Holmes:  Coteau Holmes Civic Center is closed for events until April 13, 2020, or until further notice.
Finance
• Office activities continue with limited staff.
Fire District
• Responses to calls will be handled as would in normal operations. All business activities are being handled via phone/email.
Health Units
• The Breaux Bridge and Cecilia Health Units are operating pursuant to the Louisiana Department of Health guidelines.
• The Breaux Bridge Health Unit will open on Tuesday, March 24 and Tuesday, March 31 from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
• The Cecilia Health Unit will open Wednesday, April 1 from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. to provide WIC (Women, Infants, Children) services.
• No Immunizations will be provided at this time.
• If assistance is needed during closure hours, please call St. Martin Health Unit at 337-394-3097 or Lafayette Health Unit 337-262-5616.
Nuisance
• Office is closed to the public. All questions/issues are being handled via email ([email protected]).
Parks
(Belle River, Breaux Bridge, Butte La Rose, Cade, Catahoula, Cecilia, Coteau Holmes, Henderson, Parks, St. Martinville, Stephensville)
• All pavilions are closed to the public.
• All ball fields are closed to the public.
• All playground equipment is closed to the public.
• All walking tracks are closed to the public.
Permits
• Office is closed to the public. Applications are being accepted via phone/email ([email protected] or [email protected]).
Planning & Zoning
• Office is closed to the public. All questions/issues are being handled via email ([email protected]).
Public Works
• This morning, President Cedars further evaluated the guidelines of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and after obtaining further guidance, he has made the following modification to previous actions:
o The Parish roads and laterals are deemed “essential public works facilities.” Thus, public works maintenance will commence under normal schedules. However, the following restrictions have been imposed:
 There will be only one operator per vehicle or equipment.
 The operator shall have no personal interaction with the general public unless absolutely necessary.
 At no time should there be 10 or more workers at a barn at one time.
 After each day, all vehicles and equipment will be disinfected.
• Work orders are being accepted via email ([email protected]).
Recreation
• The Recreation Program has been suspended and will remain so until further notice.
Section 8
• Office is closed to the public. All questions/issues are being handled via email ([email protected]).
Tourism
• Office is closed to the public. All questions/issues are being handled via email ([email protected]).

St. Martin Parish Assessor

• The St. Martin Parish Assessor’s office is closed to the public until further notice. However, staff will be available from 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. to assist the public via telephone, email or website.
www.stmartinassessor.org

St. Martin Parish Clerk of Court

• The St. Martin Parish Clerk of Court office is open from 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
• For the protection of all customers and employees, all business will be handled from inside individual departments to minimize person to person contact.

St. Martin Parish Council

• Office is closed to the public. All questions/issues are being handled via email ([email protected]).

St. Martin Parish Council on Aging

• Home-delivered meals are being delivered daily.
• Congregate meals in the form of shelf-stable meals were delivered in the form of a ten-day supply.
• Transportation for medical and dialysis only.
• Agency is closing at 1:00 p.m. daily until further notice.
• Asking that general public try to limit interactions to phone calls only, as much as possible.

St. Martin Parish Courthouse

• The Courthouse is closed to the public except for emergency hearings as ordered by the Court.

St. Martin Parish Jail

• No personal visitation is allowed, only attorneys are permitted.
• Trusty crews suspended until further notice.

St. Martin Parish Public Libraries
(Breaux Bridge, Cecilia, St. Martinville)

• All St. Martin Parish public libraries are closed.
www.stmartinparishlibrary.org

St. Martin Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

• The St. Martin Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness will have a phone line open in the Emergency Operations Center from 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. for anyone who has any questions in reference to COVID-19. If you call outside of the above hours, you will be prompted to leave a message and someone will return your call. The number to call is (337) 394-2808.

St. Martin Parish Registrar of Voters

• The St. Martin Parish Registrar of Voters office is closed.

Every day we will evaluate the status of Parish Government affairs and determine what, if any, revisions to schedules and mode of operations for each division or department are needed.

CURFEW

I have been asked about whether I will order a curfew. At this point, there is absolutely no public health reason for a curfew. Indeed, the Stay At Home Order serves as a comprehensive curfew. Moreover, I have discussed with both law enforcement and OEP the wisdom of a curfew, and neither sees any reason for one.

TEST UPDATES

As of this date and time, there are 1,172 positive tests in Louisiana and 34 deaths. The number of reported positive tests in surrounding areas stands at 23:

Lafayette Parish: 9 cases
Calcasieu Parish: 4 cases
St. Landry Parish: 3 cases
Iberia Parish: 3 cases
Evangeline Parish: 2 cases
Acadia Parish: 1 case
St. Mary Parish: 1 case

Although there have been no reported cases in St. Martin, this will undoubtedly not continue. However, given the nature of this virus, positive test results from St. Martin are expected, and the previously imposed mitigation measures/restrictions have been structured in anticipation of positive tests. Keep in mind, that as more people are tested, the more likelihood there is for positive tests.

TESTING SITES

I request that you review the previous messages concerning when you should be tested and what to do if you exhibit any symptoms. My previous messages in that regard remain without revision except that if you experience any symptoms, call either 337-534-TEST or 337-291-8200.

STAY-HOME ORDER IN EFFECT

For the reader’s easy reference, the following is pertinent information form my post last evening on the Stay-Home Order:

As you are no doubt aware, Governor John Bel Edwards has issued Executive Order Number 33 JBE 2020 which declares in Section 3:

To preserve the public health and safety, and to insure the healthcare system is capable of serving all citizens in need, especially those at high risk and vulnerable to COVID-19, all individuals within the State of Louisiana ARE UNDER A GENERAL STAT-AT-HOME ORDER AND ARE DIRECTED TO STAY HOME UNLESS PERFORMING AN ESSENTIAL ACTIVITY.

An activity is deemed essential if the purpose is one of the following:

  • Obtaining food, medicine, and other similar goods necessary for the individual or a family member of the individual
  • Obtaining non-elective medical care and treatment and other similar vital services for an individual or a family member of the individual.
  • Going to and from an individual’s workplace to perform a job function necessary to provide goods or services being sought in the preceding sections, or as otherwise deemed essential worker functions.
  • Going to and from the home of a family member.
  • Going to and from an individual’s place of worship.
  • Engaging in an outdoor activity, providing individuals maintain a distance of six feet from one another and abide by the 10-person limitation on gatherings.

Guidance for determining what constitutes essential workers can be found at https://www.cisa.gov/identifying-critical-infrastructure-during-covid-19. Attached is a quick reference sheet which defines those activities/businesses which are exempt from the Stay At Home Order. Note that the exemption includes grocery stores, pharmacies, medical offices, truck stops, gasoline stations, petroleum ventures, auto repair facilities, maintenance workers, (plumbers, electricians, etc.), and agricultural workers.

For guidance, the following the NEW MANDATES have resulted in the closure of:

  • All Libraries
  • Parks INCLUDING PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT
  • Section 8 Housing
  • Tourism Departments
  • Permits and Planning and Zoning
  • Public RV Parks
  • Community Centers

Health Units will operate on a limited basis in accordance with LDH guidelines.

Likewise, the Animal Shelter will have limited hours of operation.

Boat ramps will remain open to accommodate the fisheries industry.

Moreover, the new restrictions still apply to Churches where any single service will include more than 10 persons.

For more guidance, it is noted that the measures specifically include the following activities and places there were hereto exempt:

  • Places of public amusement whether indoors or outdoors
  • Zoos
  • Museums
  • All Fairs and Festivals
  • Arcades
  • Playgrounds
  • Personal care and grooming businesses
  • Barber shops and beauty salons
  • Nail salons
  • Spas
  • Massage parlors
  • Tattoo parlors
  • ALL MALLS EXCEPT FOR STORES IN A MALL THAT HAVE A DIRECT OUTDOOR ENTRANCE AND EXIT AND THAT PROVIDE ESSENTIAL SERVICES AND PRODUCTS

The previous closures remain in effect: health clubs/fitness centers, restaurants offering on premise food consumption, casinos, bars, lounges, etc.

Section 4(B) of the new Executive Order specifically declares that businesses which can remain open under the new guidelines (not including the essential businesses such as grocery stores) shall reduce operations so as to abide by the 10-person limitations and shall practice “social distancing.” The ESSENTIAL BUSINESS does not have to abide by the 10-person limitations.

In accordance with the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, La. R.S. 29:721, et seq, I will issue a Parish Executive Order adopting the Governor’s Order issued today.

The effective date of the order is Monday, March 23, 2020, at 5:00 P.M. until Monday April 13, 2020, unless terminated earlier. However, for St. Martin Parish Government, they are effective immediately. I ask that all municipalities in the Parish follow suit. The effective date will in any case become effective at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow under both the State and Parish proclamations.

As I advised, these restrictions are MANDATORY and have been issued under the Governor’s powers set forth in the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, La. R.S. 29:721, et seq.