State and City leaders urge residents to adhere to social distancing mandates

File photo.
File photo.(Source: The Associated Press)
Published: Mar. 30, 2020 at 2:41 PM CDT
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The Louisiana Department of Health says the state has not come close to peaking with its COVID-19 cases. The state believes social distancing measures are helping but says it’s still too early to say by exactly how much.

Both state and city leaders urge people to continue to adhere to the social distancing mandates in place. Especially after a viral video surfaced on social media over the weekend. It showed what appeared to be a second line.

State Health Officer, Joseph Kanter, M.D.,says he was concerned when he saw the video. He says an act like that puts scores of people at risk, drains city resources when police have to respond to it and it could also lead to more work for healthcare personnel who are already putting their lives on the line to fight the novel coronavirus.

“The nature of these social distancing measures, there’s just not enough police officers out there to enforce it to a 100 degree level.There’s some degree of personal responsibility that has to happen. There’s not going to be police officers in your living room counting the number of people you have at the dining room table. They’re not going to be in your backyard, they’re not even going to be at your street corner,” said Kanter.

The NOPD says they got a call about the large social gathering on the 3000 block of Audubon over the weekend. When officers arrived, police say they found more than 100 people and a brass band second lining.

Officers say when they asked the organizers to shut it down, they refused. Chief Shaun Ferguson called the video shocking. He says the department has received 300 complaints of large gatherings, but he says this is the first time his officers received push back.

An arrest warrant was issued for the event organizer, Cecil Spencer. The band leader, Clifton Smith, also received a summons.