Shreveport Does Not Have A Mask Mandate Right Now
Yesterday, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards lifted the state's blanket mask mandate that was put in place during the COVID pandemic. The change impacted everything outside of government funded infrastructure, and healthcare facilities. However, the Governor did leave it open to local communities on whether or not they want to impose their own mask mandate.
Which is where we come into the story.
As soon as the Governor made the changes, many local governments changed their policies to come in-line with the state. Including the Baton Rouge area, where East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome lifted the Parish-wide mask mandate. She did keep a mask policy in place for local government buildings, but lifted it for private businesses. Additionally, Ascention, Iberville, Livingston, and West Feliciana Parishes followed the EBR lead.
But Shreveport didn't make an announcement right away, leading to some slight confusion for the city.
So first thing this morning, Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins joined KEEL News to talk about the status of a mask mandate for the city. He told KEEL:
"I applaud the Governor for his leadership throughout this pandemic. I think he has kept the state as safe as possible. But the numbers are going down and I think that's what he's reacting to now in allowing municipalities to decide. What's in place here in Shreveport is our City Council ordinance that was passed. I haven't been able to talk to the council about what they want to do.
My first reaction is balance. I would actually prefer to talk to the Department of Health and our hospitals and find out if now is a good time to lift the mask mandate in our region and take that recommendation to the city council."
So it's on the City Council, who did previously pass a mask mandate. That would mean the city is still under a mask mandate, even without the Governor's state-wide mandate. Unless there was a provision in the City Council's mandate that included an expiration date.
Pulling up the City Council measure from July 14th, 2020, there happens to be a term limit placed on the mandate. It reads:
"The provisions established herein shall become effective on the date this Emergency Ordinance becomes effective and shall remain in place for thirty (30) days."
That would have put the expiration date on the Shreveport mask mandate at August 13th, 2020. Meaning that without a new mandate voted on by the Shreveport City Council, there is no mask mandate in the city.