St. Mary calls off council meeting; sets restrictions on visitors to gov’t offices

St. Mary Parish President David Hanagriff said his daily schedule has literally turned into a juggling act, with primarily attention on COVID-19, while trying to work at his family business in Centerville, Hangriff’s Machine Shop.

FRANKLIN — The St. Mary Parish Council canceled its regularly scheduled meeting for March 25 in the wake of COVID-19.

Council Chairman Dean Adams issued the notice Thursday afternoon.

“This will give us enough time to set up some sort of teleconferencing, in the event that may be a viable choice for our next meeting, which is scheduled for April 8 in the council chambers in Franklin.

St. Mary Parish President David Hanagriff agreed with Adams’ decision, saying there was no urgent business set for next’s week’s council meeting that could not be rescheduled for April.

Meanwhile, the parish president said that has been doing his best to dispel rumors, particularly those on the internet.

“Currently right now, we’re monitoring. However, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in St. Mary Parish,” Hanagriff said.

“The second we get confirmation, we will let everyone know what is going on,” he said.

Hanagriff said he has taken measures in the wake of the virus.

Business is ongoing at the parish courthouse, but the assessor’s office, the clerk of court, the sheriff’s office and the district attorney’s office are closed to the public. though fully staffed.

“Please call them or email them to conduct business,” he said.

The Registrar of Voters office is closed. There is no staff working.

The parish government office on the fifth floor is functioning with a full staff.

“If the public comes to our office, we will be conducting business through glass windows,” Hanagriff said.

Hanagriff urged everyone to continue to follow the public health guidance from the governor’s office, pertaining to social distancing, washing hands frequently, limiting social gatherings, and advising people to stay home, but see a physician if they feel sick or show possible symptoms of a fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

Also, all visitation to the parish jail and the city jails within the parish, have been suspended.

Hanagriff said there are no new curfews, however, the regular curfews that are set in place for those under the age of 18 still apply, which also apply in the municipalities. That time is 10 p.m. weeknights.

But on weekends, the minor curfew varies: midnight in Franklin, 11 p.m. in Patterson, in midnight Berwick and midnight in Baldwin.

In Baldwin, the Town Hall is open for business. The Baldwin Recreation Center is closed.

“Right now, all of our other civic centers are open, but under heavy monitoring. Of course, all of that is subject to change,” he said.

David Naquin, St. Mary Parish Director of Homeland Security, said he is waiting for more test results from the parish, and that he should have them in hand by Friday afternoon.

“But as of now, there are no cases in St. Mary,” Naquin said.

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