North Carolina’s Phase 2, “Safer at Home,” Extended;
New requirement to wear face coverings added
On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, Governor Cooper issued Executive Order No. 147 which outlines the extension of the North Carolina Safer at Home Phase 2 Order as well as additional measures to protect lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the continued increase in North Carolina’s daily case counts of COVID-19, the percent of positive COVID-19 tests, and the increase in hospitalizations for COVID-19, Phase 2 will remain in effect until Friday, July 17, 2020 at 5:00p.m. In addition to extending Phase 2, North Carolina Executive Order 147 issues new requirements to wear face coverings to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This requirement goes into effect today, Friday, June 26, 2020 at 5:00pm.
Below are answers to Frequently Asked Questions from the State of North Carolina:
- “Face covering” means a covering of the nose and mouth that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears or is simply wrapped around the lower face.
- A face covering can be made of a variety of synthetic and natural fabrics, including cotton, silk, or linen. Ideally, a face covering has two or more layers. They may be factory-made, sewn by hand, or improvised from household items such as scarfs, bandanas, t-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.
- People are required to wear face coverings in the following settings, whether they are inside or outside, unless an exception applies:
- In retail businesses: Retail business employees are required to wear face coverings when they are or may be within six feet of another person. Customers in retail businesses are required to wear face coverings when they are inside the establishment and may be within six feet of another person, unless the customer states that an exception applies.
- In restaurants: Restaurant workers are required to wear face coverings when they are or may be within six feet of another person. In addition, customers in restaurants are required to wear face coverings when not at their table, unless the customer states that an exception applies.
- In personal care and grooming businesses: Personal care and grooming business employees are required to wear face coverings when they are or may be within six feet of another person. In addition, customers of these business are required to wear face coverings when they are inside the establishment and may be within six feet of another person, unless the customer states that an exception applies. Customers may take off their face coverings if they are receiving a facial treatment, shave, or other services on a part of the head which the face covering covers or by which the face covering is secured.
- In child care facilities, day camps, and overnight camps: Child care facilities, day camps, and overnight camp employees are required to wear face coverings, as well as all other adults and children 11 years or older on site when they are or may be within six feet of another person.
- In transportation. All workers and riders on public or private transportation regulated by the State of North Carolina, as well as all people in North Carolina airports, bus and train stations or stops, must wear face coverings when they are or may be within six feet of another person. This provision does not apply to people traveling along with household members or friends in their personal vehicles, but does apply to ride-shares, cabs, vans, and shuttles, even if the vehicle is privately owned. No customer will be removed from or denied entry to public transportation for failure to wear a face covering.
- Long term care facilities: All workers in Long Term Care (LTC) Facilities, including skilled nursing facilities, adult care homes, family care homes, mental health group homes, and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, must wear face coverings while in the facility, and those face coverings must be surgical masks, as long as surgical mask supplies are available.
- Other health care settings: Health care facilities other than LTC facilities must follow the Face Covering requirements in the CDC Infection Control Guidance for Healthcare Professionals about coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Exceptions – Face coverings are not required for a worker, customer, or patron who:
- Should not wear a face covering due to any medical or behavioral condition or disability (including, but not limited to, any person who has trouble breathing, is unconscious or incapacitated, or is otherwise unable to put on or remove the face covering without assistance);
- Is under 11 years of age;
- Is actively eating or drinking;
- Is strenuously exercising;
- Is seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired in a way that requires the mouth to be visible;
- Is giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience;
- Is working at home or is in a personal vehicle;
- Is temporarily removing his or her face covering to secure government or medical services or for identification purposes;
- Would be at risk from wearing a face covering at work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulations or workplace safety guidelines;
- Has found that his or her face covering is impeding visibility to operate equipment or a vehicle; or
- Is a child whose parent, guardian, or responsible person has been unable to place the face covering safely on the child’s face.
- Anyone who declines to wear a face covering for these reasons should not be required to produce documentation or any other proof of a condition.
- Children under two years of age should not wear a face covering.
- Enforcement of face covering requirements:
- Citations shall only be written to businesses or organizations that fail to enforce the requirement to wear face coverings.
- Law enforcement personnel are not authorized to criminally enforce the face covering requirements against individual workers, customers, or patrons.
- However, if a business or organization does not allow entry to a worker, customer, or patron because that person refuses to wear a face covering, and if that worker, customer, or patron enters the premises or refuses to leave the premises, law enforcement personnel may enforce the trespassing laws and any other laws that the worker, customer, or patron may violate.
For full details, see North Carolina Executive Order No. 147. See the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Service’s website for additional COVID-19 guidance.
Free Face Coverings Available for Davidson Residents
Davidson residents may pick up a face mask at the Davidson Public Library (119 S. Main Street) during normal business hours or at Davidson Town Hall (216 S. Main Street). The masks are available outside town hall’s front doors at the Main Street entrance between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. each weekday. Please take only what you need for yourself and your immediate family.