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Jefferson Parish officials announced stricter mask wearing during the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, June 29, 2020. Some shoppers wear masks while others don't at the entrance to a grocery store in Gretna. (Photo by Chris Granger | The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)

My brother and I own a clothing store on Canal Street. We are proud New Orleanians.

Like many others, our business has been severely affected by the shutdown and the ongoing arbitrary restrictions in the city. Nobody can question that when the coronavirus appeared in New Orleans, it hit the citizenry hard and measures had to be taken in order to protect us all. However, the numbers of infections and hospitalization are significantly down and this is clearly no longer an emergency situation.

It is time to fully open our city before it dies an economic death. I understand that Mayor LaToya Cantrell may have the power to shut the city down under Louisiana's Homeland Security and Emergency and Disaster Act, but does she have the power to hold the city hostage now that we are in Phase 2 and are no longer in an emergency situation?

Is her stated plan to test how the children fare at school a sensible plan? If she believes the School Board has done the best job possible to protect our children and teachers, she should say so and move to Phase 3.

In light of the declining numbers of hospitalizations, it is getting harder to believe there is any logical reason for the mayor’s unsubstantiated stand as we move forward.

DAVID RUBENSTEIN

merchant

New Orleans