Ricks: No opt out but will not support penalties on mask mandate
LIVINGSTON – Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks will not support strict enforcement and penalties against residents that choose not to wear a face covering in all public settings.
While President Ricks would like the public to be mindful of the Statewide Mask Mandate issued by Gov. John Bel Edwards that went into effect today, Monday, July 13, 2020, he said he does not plan to endorse strict citations against residents who oppose the Governor’s Order for face coverings in all public settings.
“I have received many emails and messages from constituents wanting me to opt out of the Order,” President Ricks said. “Unfortunately, this is not an option for Livingston Parish.”
The Order only allows three of the State’s 64 parishes the right to opt out based on having fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 people for the most recent two-week period: Grant Parish, Red River Parish and West Feliciana Parish.
Livingston Parish had 408 cases per 100,000, according to data posted by DHH.
While being mindful of the strong opinions on both sides of this issue, President Ricks said Livingston Parish is bound by the Governor’s Order, and he has instructed his department heads to follow the guidelines established for governmental offices.
Ricks encourages residents to protect themselves and their loved ones by taking proper precautions and following public health protocols.
“I believe we should do everything possible to move the State forward in its efforts to flatten the curve and fully reopen,” Ricks said.