Temporary restraining order issued against Livingston Parish BBQ restaurant for not following mask mandate

Temporary restraining order issued against Livingston Parish BBQ restaurant for not following mask mandate

LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. (WAFB) - On Friday, Aug. 7, Governor John Bel Edwards announced a temporary restraining order (TRO) has been issued against a restaurant in Livingston Parish for its “excessive noncompliance with Phase 2 mitigation measures” aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

The restaurant in question is Firehouse BBQ in Denham Springs. The order prohibits the restaurant from operating due to violating an emergency order (mask mandate). Its permit is hereby suspended.

“Defiance of the order to help keep the people of our state safe by this establishment is extremely reckless and irresponsible,” said Gov. Edwards. “Louisiana is number one in the nation for the number of COVID-19 cases per capita, and there is no doubt that this behavior is contributing to the unnecessary spread of this virus. That is unacceptable. We have gone above and beyond to give this owner every opportunity to get in compliance with the order as our intent has always been to work with businesses. The decisions I have made have not been easy, but they have been based on science, the data and recommendations by the White House Coronavirus Task Force, which has designated Louisiana as a red zone state because of the amount of coronavirus here, and the percent positivity rate, which is above 10 percent. It was my hope that the action today would not be necessary, but we are left with no choice as the owner insists on being non-compliant, thus jeopardizing the safety of the employees and customers.”

The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) and the Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal (LAOSFM) received complaints on July 21 and July 22 that the restaurant had posted notices on its front door and on social media stating it would not be requiring its employees or customers to wear face masks.

Gov. Edwards says an inspection on July 27 confirmed this. After the inspection, the restaurant reportedly made it clear it would not be complying with the governor’s orders.

The restaurant was given several opportunities to comply, but in the interest of public health, LDH ordered the restaurant to close immediately on July 31.

Click here to read the TRO.

Click here to report a typo.

Copyright 2020 WAFB. All rights reserved.