LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Yesterday, Governor John Bel Edwards made the announcement that our state will remain in Phase 2 until at least Aug 28.
However, at least one city council member believes the city of Lake Charles could find a way to move into Phase 3 safely.
It was an item on Wednesday night’s agenda but was postponed by the council.
"I'd like to enter in a motion that we defer this item as a result of the governor speaking and moving us for another two and a half weeks or three weeks in phase two," proposed Stuart Weatherford, city council president for District E.
The council voted six to one to defer moving forward with a request to open all Lake Charles businesses.
For the sake of the economy, councilman John Ieyoub wanted to ask the governor to allow Lake Charles to move to Phase 3.
Ieyoub was the sole member not wanting to wait. He’s also the sponsor of the resolution to request Lake Charles move into Phase 3 ahead of the rest of the state. He says he’s advocating for local businesses struggling in the pandemic. “I was somewhat disappointed that we deferred it, this issue has raised a lot of awareness so in that fact it’s a victory for us,” Ieyoub stated. “Well for me, I think because there are a lot of business owners that think they’ve not been heard.” Ieyoub says he believes the city can move to Phase 3 safely if we re-think how we’re handling COVID-19.
"Maybe we need to sit down at the table and re-look at how we're doing this, but we can't let businesses die as we try this experiment on how to stop COVID. We have to let businesses run, they're the livelihood of our city and of our state." Though many in the medical community have warned against reopening too soon.
"Yes, our case numbers have been trending down for about the past week but trending down from horrifying to slightly less horrifying is still not a good place for us to be," explained local physician Dr. David Chang. Ieyoub says Lake Charles should be able to keep the community safe, while also protecting businesses.
He says he hopes the council can figure out a way to re-open our local economy when they revisit the agenda item.