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'Stay home'; Mayor Cantrell issues mandate to slow coronavirus spread

With business restrictions already in place, Mayor Cantrell says this mandate is a more aggressive way to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

NEW ORLEANS — After talking with other city and state leaders, New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell made the decision to issue a stay at home mandate for residents of New Orleans. That mandate means stay home, going out only for critical needs. 

“We need everyone to comply,” said Mayor Cantrell. “The more people who stay home, the more lives that we will save.” 

With business restrictions already in place, Mayor Cantrell says this mandate is a more aggressive way to stop the spread of the coronavirus, but it’s going to take folks paying attention. 

“Most of it, on the front end of this, is personal responsibility and adhering to our people to do the right thing, stay home and save a life,” said Cantrell.

“It does in fact wake people up. It gives people a formal notice,” said WWL legal analyst Chick Foret.  

Foret says a stay at home mandate is pretty much what was already happening, but more official. 

“She formalized a request to the citizens, please do exactly what you’ve been doing, but I’m going to put it in the form of an order that the law allows me to do,” said Foret. 

Even with that mandate, Foret says there could be some issues. 

“The problem is from a practical standpoint there are many exceptions,” said Foret.

Those exceptions are for what the city deems essential services. Places like healthcare facilities, pharmacies, grocery stores, gas stations, banks and restaurants for take-out and delivery only.  

“Don’t look for ways for the rules to not apply to you. Do not look for ways to be an exception. Stay at home,” said Cantrell.

From this stay at home mandate to restrictions on businesses and public gatherings, Mayor Cantrell says the police department is prepared to enforce at every level. 

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