NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Despite the muggy temperatures, those in Jefferson parish seem to be taking well to the first day of the parish’s masking mandate.
“I make sure I have mine all the time,” Rickey Kyles said.
Kyles says some of his friends and coworkers have recently tested positive, which is why he has made masking a habit, a habit he hopes others will quickly adapt as well.
“There’s still people not wearing masks, she’s not wearing one right there yeah there still people around here don’t wear masks, but I just keep my distance just try and play safe,” he said.
Despite rising case numbers across the state and the country, Governor John Bel Edwards announced he would not be rolling back any restrictions or imposing a state-wide masking mandate.
“At the end of the day it’s not currently recommended by the White House guidelines that you have mandates on masks by the state level, but you do it on the local level as the situations dictate and warrant those measures. At the end of the day, my message has been consistent, people should wear a mask the only ones who shouldn’t those under 2 and with a breathing difficulty,” said Edwards.
Instead, Edwards announced plans to increase testing and enforcement. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says his agents will be out in full force.
“Our uniform deputies will be out on the streets in a very notable force over the holiday weekend both during daytime and nighttime operations targeting businesses that have gathering points, we’re talking about restaurants were talking about bars we’re talking about event centers and making sure the rules are being agreed-upon and state laws are being followed,” said Browning.
Browning estimates most businesses, 85 to 90 percent are in compliance but he knows too well complacency can set in on a holiday weekend and is reminding everyone the best kind of enforcement is for citizens to exercise personal responsibility.
“I still catch myself saying wait a minute put your mask on, I haven’t worn a mask for 52 years… it’s about convincing the right behaviors and we have to be accountable and be each other’s keepers but it’s about being personally responsible,” said Browning.