On Monday, Shreveport Police Chief Ben Raymond announced that any business or gathering which has previously been warned that they are operating in violation of the governor’s emergency proclamation will be issued a misdemeanor summons.

Some Shreveporters mistook this to mean that Shreveport was becoming a police state or that we were turning into communist China, but this isn’t the case. The primary purpose of this effort is to ensure that businesses are following the directives of Governor John Bel Edwards regarding social distancing and essential businesses according to Corporal Angie Willhite, SPD Public Information Officer.

CPL Angie Willhite

“We are targeting illegal gatherings and businesses that are not complying with the governor’s directives,” said Willhite. “We are not singling people out for walking their dogs. There’s no curfew. We’re not stopping people on their way to get groceries.”

Shreveport Police established a task force when the stay-at-home order was put in place and has been following up on reports of noncompliance.

“Our task force has had positive interactions with complaints they have received. Some complaints have been unfounded,” said Willhite. “We are seeing trend of business making changes on their own. Ki Mexico is one. They closed on their own citing the health and safety of their workers. Others have made changes in operations to ensure social distancing and reducing transmission, like Maxwell’s Market.”

CPL Whillhite said that no summons have been issued so far and that the number of calls for complaints of noncompliance has been lower today than it had in recent days.

What can you do during the stay-at-home order?

According to the governor’s website, under the stay-at-home order, you can:

  • Go to the grocery, convenience or warehouse store
  • Go to the pharmacy to pick up medications and other healthcare necessities
  • Go to medical appointments (check with your doctor or provider first)
  • Go to a restaurant for take-out, delivery or drive-thru
  • Care for or support a friend or family member
  • Take a walk, ride your bike, hike, jog and be in nature for exercise — just keep at least six feet between you and others. 
  • Walk your pets and take them to the veterinarian if necessary
  • Help someone to get necessary supplies
  • Receive deliveries from any business which delivers

You should not:

  • Go to work unless you are providing essential services as defined by this Order
  • Visit friends and family if there is no urgent need
  • Maintain less than 6 feet of distance from others when you go out
  • Visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility or other residential care facility, except for limited exceptions as provided on the facility websites.

For information on testing and state response, visit http://ldh.la.gov/Coronavirus/

For more information on the stay at home order, visit gov.ouisiana.gov/home

For instructions on best reducing risk of infection and transmission, and what to do if you’re sick, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/