Gov. John Bel Edwards and other state agencies unveiled a new web-based program this week allowing citizens to register a complaint against any business they believe is violating the state’s social distancing restrictions.
Edwards, the State Fire Marshal’s office and state Department of Health claimed the new website would help businesses and religious organizations safely resume operations as the public health emergency in response to COVID-19 continued.
As noted by Lincoln Parish News Online, the complaints could be filed anonymously or the complainant could provide their contact information. Recently, a similar website launched in St. Louis County, Missouri, resulted in 900 tipsters’ personal information being released online.
“In order for us to move forward and open businesses as safely as possible, it is important that clear guidance is available. This website will help businesses and churches better understand which phase will allow them to resume operating and then put safe practices in place such as social distancing and encouraging their customers and members to wear facial coverings,” said Edwards.
“To be successful as we work to continue reducing the spread of this virus, we must all implement new and safer practices in all aspects of our lives.”
OpenSafely.la.gov allows business owners and church leaders to register in order to receive up-to-the minute information on what phase their business and/or church is considered, what phase the state is in as Louisiana moves through phases of return and what social distancing and sanitation guidelines are required for their specific operation in each phase.
“I am proud to be able to offer this easy-to-use tool for our state’s businesses to start, and continue, the process of getting back on their feet,” said State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning.
“I want the business and religious communities to know that the State Fire Marshal’s Office is your partner and your friend and we will support your efforts to succeed in every way that we can.”