Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Baton Rouge has no plans to enforce mask requirement, mayor says

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BATON ROUGE - Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome announced Friday morning that the city has no plans to enforce a mask ordinance for residents, however, action may be taken for repeat offenders. 

While she feels as though writing tickets for face coverings is "not the appropriate thing to do," she plans to enforce a ban on crowds larger than 250 people and visit businesses that repeatedly don’t comply with mask and customer capacity requirements

Despite that, the mayor-president said the parish needs to do a better job preventing the spread of COVID-19.

"The bottom line is this. We are not doing well enough as a community to slow the spread of the coronavirus," Broome said. "If we don't change our behavior, we would have to return to a stay-at-home order."

Doctor Catie O'Neal with Our Lady of the Lake is warning the community that hospitals are preparing for a coronavirus resurgence.

"Everybody in this community can do two things that could help our community from going back to phase one. Those two things are, number one, taking care of your community and, number two, taking care of yourself," O'Neal said.

The number of COVID-19 cases in East Baton Rouge spiked by 326 in the last week. Most cases are community spread.With some of the highest COVID-19 numbers since April, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome is making yet another plea for people to wear a mask.

"Numerous studies show that if everyone wears a face covering in public, it will stop the spread of this virus. It's very simple. So, I am appealing to everyone to wear a face covering," Broome said.

The mayor also asked residents to report businesses and large public gatherings not in compliance with phase two guidelines. Anyone looking to report such activity can call (225)389-8875 or do so online at brla.gov/covidreport.

Though the state is gradually reopening since the spread of novel coronavirus forced its closure in early March, the spread of COVID-19 is still a threat. On Thursday, Governor John Bel Edwards reiterated this by urging Louisianians to continue wearing masks and practicing social distancing while in public.

His office also issued a statement, Thursday, formally extending Phase Two of reopening in Louisiana for another 28 days, as new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations increase across the state. The new order leaves in place occupancy and other restrictions of the previous Phase Two order and adds a crowd size limit of 250 to indoor gatherings.

Since Monday, Louisiana has added 3,637 new COVID-19 cases, a steady uptick in new positives. More than 3,000 Louisianans have died from complications of COVID-19. Louisiana has also pushed to increase testing, exceeding its goal of 200,000 tests for the month of June already. Louisiana has completed 257,535 tests in the month of June.


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