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Jeff Mitchell, Getty Images
Jeff Mitchell, Getty Images

After the dust settled yesterday afternoon, the voting was over and it would now be law. For the next thirty days, beginning today, July 10, 2020 starting at at 5:00 pm, masks would be required to be worn by all citizens in the unincorporated areas of Caddo Parish. The incorporated cities such as Blanchard and Vivian were excluded from the mandate and would be making their own decisions regarding the wearing of masks.

In a report from KTBS, we learned that Commission President Mario Chavez continued his efforts to have the commission "encourage" the wearing of masks, but felt it would be overreaching to "mandate" the masks.  Chavez added that Caddo businesses are "hurting financially" and that a mandate could add to their burdens. His efforts came up a little short though as the final vote was 7-5 in favor of the mask mandate.

The ordinance applies to commercial buildings and businesses, governmental facilities, places of worship and all other public spaces where individuals cannot or it is impractical to maintain 6 feet of physical distance.

Below is a quick overview of the ordinance, however there are many exceptions, and to see the complete ruling, just go to the KTBS website

Businesses and establishments - facial coverings required
Facial coverings shall be worn by all persons, other than those specifically exempted herein, while obtaining any good or service or otherwise visiting or working in any business or establishment, including entering, exiting, and otherwise moving around within the establishment. Businesses or establishments of any type, including but not limited to, those permitted to operate under executive order of the governor are subject to this provision. Such businesses and establishments include, but are not limited to, restaurants, retail establishments, hotels, grocery stores, gyms, pharmacies, indoor recreational facilities and vehicles for hire.

Governmental Facilities - facial coverings required
All persons accessing governmental buildings under the jurisdiction of the parish of Caddo or administered by the parish of Caddo for the purposes of conducting public business, visitation, contracting and maintenance, delivery, or any other activity requiring a presence in a governmental building under the jurisdiction of the parish of Caddo or administered by the Parish of Caddo shall wear facial coverings as defined by the CDC at all times while present in the building unless otherwise exempted below. For purposes of this section, governmental buildings shall mean any Caddo Parish owned and operated buildings including, but not limited to, office buildings, parish facilities, and court or justice facilities.

Enforcement of the Parish’s ordinance will be conducted by the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office, with possible collaboration with other law enforcement, regulatory and private agencies. Business will be asked to post official signage regarding the mask requirement in a conspicuous location.

Citizens that are not in compliance with the ordinance may be asked to vacate the premises by businesses. Penalties for failure to comply include warnings and fines up to $500 per offense.

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