Jefferson Parish businesses anticipate bump after New Orleans re-instates mask mandate
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -Anyone is welcome inside Colby’s cocktails, mask or not. But owner, Lisa Colby remembers the struggle of enforcing a mask mandate.
“Making them wear a mask or just going to make them either not go or go and not wear them. Then you have to enforce it,” said Colby.
As New Orleans re-imposes an indoor mask mandate within the city limits, Colby says she’s grateful her bar sits within Jefferson Parish lines, especially with Mardi Gras revenue on the line.
“I feel sorry for the Orleans parish bars and restaurants. They’re coming into Mardi Gras. I mean, a lot of people in other states don’t have mask mandates. So now you’re making somebody who’s never worn a mask, must put one on,” said Colby.
“Where we stand in Jefferson Parish, where the point is pandemic, I think where again, we can let adults make adult decisions,” said Jefferson Parish Councilman Scott Walker.
Jefferson Parish Councilman Scott Walker says there’s not much of an appetite to bring back a parish-wide mask mandate. Especially, he says since there’s evidence, they may have reached the peak of the current spike with multiple days of declining cases.
“I know there are people coming to Jefferson Parish restaurants and patronizing Jefferson Parish businesses because they don’t have to show a vaccine card or proof of vaccination. So, we’re doing what we do in Jefferson Parish to welcome business. We want businesses to thrive. At the same time. I don’t want that to be misconstrued as being reckless in Jefferson Parish… we’ve done everything in Jefferson Parish that the governor has mandated that we do,” said Walker.
“We would hope to see wider and larger compliance and interest in using masks and I certainly think in virtually every community there are people who are using masks, unfortunately, the political reality is something that’s not likely to happen,” said LSU Health’s Dr. Benjamin Springgate.
Medical experts still say omicron is 2 to 3 times more contagious, and an n95 mask indoors along with getting vaccinated will afford the best protection.
“N95 masks by contrast, can reduce 95% of the transmission from one person to the next. So that’s a real strength in terms of an effective public health measure,” said Springgate.
“Get vaccinated people so we don’t have to wear the mask and hopefully one day this is something in the past,” said Colby.
Jefferson Parish still has a mask mandate in place for government buildings.
Again, New Orleans’ indoor mask mandate will go into effect at 6 am.
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