Gonzales shows signs of life with stay-at-home revisions

Scott J. Anderson
Don's Seafood has added outdoor seating for customers to enjoy.

Signs that the end of the Stay-at-Home order might be drawing to an end are popping up across Gonzales -- many in the form of new dining spaces outside of the city's restaurants.

Mayor Barney Arceneaux ate dinner at Don's Seafood last Saturday, according to his Chief Administrative Officer Scot Byrd. Brew-Bacher's Grill is another restaurant added some outdoor seating to accommodate customers under the current Stay-at-Home order, Byrd said.

Byrd also worked with local stores this week to clarify the stipulations for retailers under the order.

"For example, clothing stories, shoe stores, jewelry stores and furniture stores," he said. "The current interpretation of the order is those guys could have stayed open all along if they had limited the number of people in the stores to 10. As long as you have your own in-and-out entrance, you could be open, unless you are a type of business that was specifically closed."

Arceneaux has met with representatives from Tanger Outlet Malls and other retail developments in the city to make sure they understand the order. Many are discussing their plans with their corporate headquaters.

"We will see what will happen with that," Byrd said.

Byrd said City Hall is continuing its split-shift operations. City employees are following Gov. John Bel Edwards' recommendation to wear face masks when they enter each other's work spaces. He said calls for police, fire and ambulance services remain below average.

All city employees are following guidelines for cleaning and sanitizing their own work spaces, in addition to the work of the cleaning crew, Byrd said. The city has supplied employees with the masks and cleaning supplies.

Looking ahead, Byrd said the city has participated in some webinars with commercial cleaning services that could clean and sanitize city facilities. Some of the services they provide include fogging the building, training employees on PPE protocols, cleaning as recommended by CDC and NIH guidelines and providing cleaning supplies and PPE.

"We haven't finished out evaluation of those services yet," he said.

Byrd said he thinks residents of Gonzales will remain patient and steadfast if the Stay-at-Home order is lifted on May 15, as anticipated.

"I think people are so tired of being cooped up they want to do their part to keep this thing under control so we can continue to move about more," he said.