NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana leaders want to know if you’re wearing a face covering when you go out and if not – why not.
Thursday Governor John Bel Edwards renewed his request for people to "mask up.”
“It’s like opening a door for somebody,” Edwards said. “It’s being polite. It’s being considerate because when you wear a mask, you’re protecting somebody else and when they wear a mask, they’re protecting you.”
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell took to Twitter telling residents when it comes to a face covering, “don’t leave home without one.”
Plaquemines President Kirk Lepine had a similar request for people living and working in his south Louisiana parish.
“Once you’re out in public and you have that opportunity and you have a mask, please wear it,” Lepine said.
As of Thursday, there were 165 Coronavirus cases reported in his parish and 16 COVID-19 related deaths.
Thanks to a generous donation of 10,000 cloth masks from the Hanes Corporation, any Plaquemines resident who needs a face covering can now easily get one.
“Right now, we have distributed masks through all nine of our council members and I have to say all nine of them came and got them and you can go through their local districts to get one,” Lepine said. “I want to thank the council members for stepping up and helping out and some of these council members actually delivered masks to people’s houses to their mailbox.”
Louisiana has hit a plateau in the number of new Coronavirus cases in the state.
The governor is now expected to announce plans for a phased reopening of the state's economy on Monday.
He hinted some people may be “required” to wear face coverings after April 30, when the state’s current stay at home order is set to expire.
“You are likely to see requirements if you want to run a business and have folks come in from the public in order to purchase goods and services from you then your workers ought to be in a mask,” Governor Edwards said.
Right now, there is no official mandate requiring masks be worn, but it is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and the Louisiana Department of Health.
“I will tell you it is not my inclination at present to start arresting or fining individual members of the public for not wearing a mask, although I’m absolutely encouraging everyone to do that,” Edwards said.
The governor also said the state will soon begin distributing face coverings through parish Offices of Emergency Preparedness.