UPDATED June 24, 2020 — Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen today announced that North Carolina will remain in Phase 2 of its Covid Restart for three more weeks. Governor Cooper also announced that, in an effort to stop viral spread, face coverings must be worn in public places. This Executive Order is effective at 5:00 pm on Friday, June 26, 2020 and remains in effect through 5:00 pm on Friday, July 17, 2020. Read the full text of Executive Order No. 147.
Growing evidence shows that cloth face coverings, when worn consistently, can decrease the spread of COVID-19, especially among people who are not yet showing symptoms of the virus. “North Carolina is relying on the data and the science to lift restrictions responsibly, and right now our increasing numbers show we need to hit the pause button while we work to stabilize our trends,” said Governor Cooper. “We need to all work together so we can protect our families and neighbors, restore our economy, and get people back to work and our children back to school.”
Certain businesses must have employees and customers wear face coverings, including: retailers; restaurants; personal care and grooming businesses; child care centers and camps; state government agencies under the Governor’s Cabinet; transportation organizations; construction/trades; manufacturers; agriculture and meat processing businesses; healthcare and long-term care organizations.
A face covering is not required for a worker, customer, or patron who:
According to the Executive Order, law enforcement will only write citations to businesses or organizations that fail to enforce the requirement to wear face coverings. Operators of businesses and organizations are entitled to rely on their customers or patrons’ statements about whether or not they are excepted from the face covering requirements, and businesses and organizations do not violate this Executive Order if they rely on these statements.
Law enforcement personnel are not authorized to criminally enforce the face-covering requirements of this Executive Order against individual workers, customers, or patrons. However, if a business or organization refuses entry to a worker, customer, or patron refusing to wear a face covering, and if that worker, customer, or patron enters the premises or refuses to leave the premises, law enforcement may enforce the trespassing laws and any other laws that the worker, customer, or patron may violate.
Based on the metrics laid out in April by Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen, North Carolina is evaluating a combination of the data from the following categories that shows the indicators moving in the wrong direction, causing officials to implement today’s pause in Phase 2.
North Carolina is averaging more than 17,000 coronavirus tests a day for the past week, and there are more than 500 sites listed online plus additional pop-up sites. However, North Carolina labs and labs around the country are seeing supply shortages for laboratory chemicals needed to process tests.
NC’s Tracing Capability is on the increase, with over 1,500 full-time and part-time staff supporting contact tracing efforts at the local health department level, including the 309 Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative contact tracers. These new hires reflect the diversity of the communities they serve, and 44% are bilingual.
The state’s personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies are stable. The Matthews Chamber has compiled this PPE Resource List to aid North Carolina business owners in procuring masks and other protective equipment for workers and patrons. We have also issued our Smart Restart Playbook, a free 64-page PDF that offers industry-by-industry guidance for businesses re-opening. Download a copy here.
For more information, visit the Governor’s website.