The following correspondence was created and signed by Acadia Parish Police Jury President Chance Henry along with the mayors of the Acadia Parish municipalities then sent to Governor John Bel Edwards.
We, the mayors and Police Jury of Acadia Parish, request that you consider a local approach to restrictions within the state, lighten the restrictions placed on rural parishes, and provide guidance on how areas of a less dense population can maintain proper health procedures while maintaining business practices crucial to our local economy.
Rural parishes are hurting. With the statewide mandates in place, we are experiencing a severe hit to our local economy. Many of our businesses are not able to adapt to a virtual or “to-go” style of operation like the businesses of larger cities. While it is not our intention to request a removal of all restrictions and contribute to a growth of COVID-19 cases in our state, we do wish to take a mindful approach to allowing our businesses to operate as close to normal as reasonable, such as allowing restaurants to open with limited seating.
Acadia Parish’s number of confirmed cases is .01% of our population and the rate of growth of the virus has slowed significantly in the past week. We are doing our part to keep our citizens healthy and flatten the curve.
With your guidance and approval, we believe a local approach to adjusting restrictions will allow us to provide for the health and safety of our citizens while also keeping our economy intact. We ask that you give consideration to the rural parishes of our state and assist us in taking control over our economic health.