The next time you see Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux after the Stay-at-Home order lifts on Friday, he's likely to have a big smile on his face.
Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Monday that Louisiana will move to Phase One under the White House COVID-19 guidance this Friday, which removes the Stay at Home order for Louisianans and allows additional businesses to open under strict occupancy, protection and social distancing guidelines.
"I am elated by the governor's decision," Arceneaux said. "It's definitely good news. When you're used to getting out and seeing different groups and people, it changes your whole lifestyle. I love to get out and go to movies and restaurants. This is going to enable us to do that more."
Arceneaux said he anticipates seeing more people in public as early as Friday, but he urged citizend to remain vigilant.
"With certain things opening, like gyms and movie theaters, you're going to see more people out," he said. "They have been tied up so much at home. I do anticipate seeing more people out. I hope they continue to follow rules and regulations. This is not over with. COVID is still out there. But this gets you feeling a little more human. I think that makes you feel so much better."
The mayor said City Hall would resume full-staff operations on Monday. He said employees will be following protocols for PPE and social distancing, and only a couple of people will be allowed in the building at a time. "It's time to to allow our citizens to come on in," he said.
Arceneaux said he appreciates the citizens of Gonzales for the way they adhered to the Stay-at-Home order and the impact it had. He also thanked the city council and the Ascension Parish unified command team members for they way they worked together through this unprecedented time.
"We've never dreamed we'd go through something like this," he said. "I know we go through hurricanes, tornadoes and floods. But here's something that's worldwide. We learned how to work with one another. Our citizens all working together and listening to our medical personnel. Those are the people who understand it more than we do. Learning was a process for all of us."
Arceneaux added on last piece of advice for resident for transitioning to Phase One and beyond.
"Don't forget this thing is still around," he said. "We still have to maintain all the protocols. Let's continue to work together. I think we can beat it. Let's continue to say a lot of prayers."