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Mayor Hall says no mask mandate for Alexandria; still urges residents to wear them

Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 10:25 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 10, 2020 at 5:22 PM CDT
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Please note, this article was written BEFORE Gov. John Bel Edwards issued his statewide mandate on masks. Alexandria Mayor Hall made his statement on Friday, July 10. Gov. Edwards made his mandate announcement on Saturday, July 11.

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The City of Alexandria held a press conference Friday to address the increase of COVID-19 cases in Central Louisiana.

“Today I’m asking every citizen here in Central Louisiana, please, when you’re out in public wear your face mask at all times,” says Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall.

At the meeting, Mayor Hall announced that he is not mandating the wearing of face masks in the City of Alexandria. “We’ve talked about it, but the reality is we just don’t have the manpower in the police department to effectively enforce that kind of a strong order.”

Instead, he urged citizens to “do the right thing” by wearing a mask, and is leaving it up to business owners and religious leaders to do the enforcing.

“In addition I am asking every business and religious organization to consider posting a sign, posting a sign on your door requiring your patrons, all of them, your visitors, your members to wear a face mask,” added Hall.

Dr. David Holcombe painted a grim portrait of the current situation in our state.

“Every single parish on this is red, deep red and this is a map of our current incidences in Louisiana,” said Holcombe. “This is a problem.” Holcombe saying the positivity rate in Cenla is around eight percent, but that hospitalizations and deaths are both climbing along with positive cases.

“I would make masks mandatory. That’s my personal preference,” said Holcombe.

Holcombe said the growing demand for testing is so high that the test processing company can’t keep up, leaving a current backlog of 160,000 tests that are clogging up the system.

“We are running 10-12 day delays in getting results back to people which is extremely frustrating for the public,” said Holcombe.

LSUA basketball Coach Larry Cordaro gave a final appeal, challenging Central Louisiana to take a late-game, full time out by wearing a mask and recruiting others to do so too. “It’s a simple play and it is W-A-M. WAM. Wear a mask and we’ll get to see that touchdown, feel that slam dunk, watch that grand slam.”

You can watch the press conference in full here:

Mayor Hall is holding a press conference to address COVID-19 in Cenla:

Posted by KALB News Channel 5 on Friday, July 10, 2020

Copyright 2020 KALB. All rights reserved.

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