St. Martin Parish President Chester R. Cedars
September 11, 2020
3:30 P.M.

The Governor has announced the parameters of Phase 3 restrictions. As soon as he officially releases his proclamation, I will outline it and post a summary thereof based upon the actual terms and conditions of the Executive Order. To ensure accuracy, I do not feel it would be proper to comment upon the terms of the Governor’s order until I have personally read and studied its actual language.

However, one pressing question which I feel compelled to address at this time concerns the issue of bars. The Governor stated in his press conference that bars will remain closed under his Phase 3 guidelines. Nonetheless, if a Parish has a positivity rate of 5% or less for two consecutive weeks, then that Parish will enjoy the option of permitting the re-opening of its bars and lounges under the conditions set by the Governor in his proclamation. Only 5 Parishes currently satisfy that criterion.

The positivity rate for St. Martin Parish for the last two weeks for which data is available is 8% (week of August 20th-27th) and 10.9% (week of August 27th-September 2nd). These statistics take into consideration the number of positive cases associated with a congregate outbreak which I believe renders our positivity rate suspect, making it higher than what exists in the community outside the congregate setting.

The next data will be released on Wednesday, September 16, 2020. I do not know what the positivity rate for that period will be; however, I anticipate it will be much lower. Indeed, I was advised yesterday that the Region 4 (Acadiana) positivity rate is 7%.

As Parish President, I am in favor of allowing all bars to re-open upon the Parish meeting the 5% threshold for two consecutive weeks. I see no cogent reason to impede any commercial activity beyond the boundaries of what is permitted. To do so would be imprudent and unfair. I will monitor the positivity rate and act accordingly when the threshold is met.