Today at 5 pm, Shreveport's mask mandate goes into effect. However, up until now, very few details were released about what exactly was in Mayor Perkins' executive order. This morning at 11 am, just 6 hours before the order went into effect, the Mayor's office sent out the official 'State of Emergency' order. You can find that here.

According to the Mayor's order, the mandate was made due to "continued high numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths".  The mask mandate, which will last until August 8th 2020 unless extended, will require citizens over the age of 2 to wear a face covering in any public place. The order also requires businesses to clearly communicate that masks are required to enter an establishment.

Now, a lot of people online have asked how this effects restaurants, gyms, churches, barber shops and other establishments. While there is no specific details giving for personal care facilities, the rules for restaurants, churches and gyms are explicitly outlined. According to the order:

Citizens are expected to wear masks when entering and exiting a restaurant, but can remove the mask while seated and dining. Similarly, gym patrons must wear a mask when entering and exiting, but can remove it during workouts. The order does apply to congregants at places of worship but individuals addressing the group and choir members can remove the mask to perform their duties. In all instances where the mask is removed—be it in a church, restaurant, or gym—social distancing must be practiced.

There are very few exemptions listed in the Mayor's order and the penalties for violating the rules are serious. The order states that the Emergency order will be enforced by Shreveport police with serious consequences. The order states that enforcement measures include " revocation of a business’ ability to remain open under Phase Two guidelines and cessation of water service to the business. Businesses holding Alcoholic Beverage Outlet permits from the City are also advised that the right to maintain such permits is contingent on the business following all applicable laws".

The City is even providing a hotline number to turn in non-compliant businesses. You can read the full order as it was filed with the Caddo First Judicial District Court this morning at 10 am here.

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