New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell today issued a Stay Home Mandate, a guidance document from the City Health Department that takes its legal force from the proclamation issued on Monday of this week.
“We are hereby mandating that residents stay home whenever possible, going out only for critical needs. We are telling our people and our businesses to stay home. The more people who stay at home, the more lives that we will save,” said Cantrell. “Don’t look for ways for the rule to not apply to you. Do not look for ways to be an exception. Stay home. If there are any gray areas, err on the side of caution. Stay home.”
(Read the guidance and mandates here.)
In consultation with the New Orleans Health Department, Cantrell issued the following restrictions:
- All residents and visitors to the City of New Orleans should take personal responsibility to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, including but not limited to, avoiding gatherings, and remaining in their homes unless performing essential functions;
- Individuals should maintain at least six feet from other individuals, wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer, cover coughs and sneezes, and avoid shaking hands;
- Essential service providers should comply with social distancing guidelines and continue to operate;
- For employers in the City of New Orleans that do not provide essential business or government services, take all steps reasonably necessary for employees to work remotely from home;
- Businesses not considered essential service providers should have the least number of staff on premises necessary to continue basic operations and must fully comply with social distancing requirements as set forth;
- Individuals are prohibited from engaging in gatherings, even in outdoor parks and spaces;
- Restaurants are prohibited from seating patrons at tables or bars, and are further requested to provide curbside carry-out and/or delivery services only, with gatherings prohibited on site. This includes outdoor tables and courtyards.
- Movement around the City should be restricted to only that necessary for travel to and from authorized work environments, accessing essential services, and for personal recreation (i.e. walking, hiking, and running), with strict adherence to social distancing guidelines.
The mandate also provided more detailed examples of what qualifies businesses and services as “essential,” and reiterated the need for closings of bars, gyms/fitness centers, shopping centers, live performance venues, reception facilities, art studios, and indoor amusement facilities.
The mandate concludes with the following paragraph:
“Mayor Cantrell has declared a state of emergency to exist in New Orleans via proclamation on March 11, 2020 and has imposed orders subject to these penalty provisions in her March 16, 2020 Proclamation. These emergency orders will be strictly enforced, and compliance is of the utmost importance.”