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North Carolina Enters Phase 2 of Reopening Today at 5 p.m., Safer at Home

by | May 22, 2020 | News, Town Information

Governor Cooper issued Executive Order No. 141 that outlines what is allowed in North Carolina under Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan. The Order moves North Carolina into a Safer at Home “Phase 2” of easing certain COVID-19 restrictions. The information is subject to change in light of new Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance and additional Executive Orders or local government declarations.
Phase 2 begins on Friday, May 22, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. and remains in place until June 26, 2020, unless changed or cancelled.

The Order lifts the Stay at Home Order. However, it is important to stay home if you are sick.

  • While in public, people should wear a cloth face covering, practice social distancing by waiting six feet apart from others while in public, and wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.
  • High-risk individuals are urged to stay at home and travel only for absolutely essential purposes. The CDC defines high-risk individuals as:
  • People 65 years or older; and
  • People of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions, including: people who are immunocompromised or have chronic lung disease, moderate-to-severe asthma, serious heart conditions, severe obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis, or liver disease.

Town of Davidson’s Town Hall and other facilities remain closed to the public at this time.

Phases – Staying Ahead of the Curve

Phase 2 does the following:

  • Lifts the Stay at Home Order and moves the state to a Safer at Home recommendation;
  • Allows restaurants to open for on-premises dining with limits on occupancy, specific requirements for disinfection of common spaces, and six feet between each group of customers sitting at each table;
  • Allows child care businesses to open to serve all children, as long as they follow state health guidelines;
  • Allows overnight camps to operate, following specific public health requirements and guidance;
  • Allows personal care, grooming, massage, and tattoo businesses to open with specific requirements for disinfection of equipment, face coverings for the service providers, six feet of distance between customers, and at 50 percent reduced occupancy;
  • Allows indoor and outdoor pools to open with 50 percent reduced occupancy, following specific public health requirements;
  • Allows people to gather together for social purposes, so long as they do not exceed the mass gathering limit of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors; and
  • Allows sporting and entertainment events to occur in large venues for broadcast to the public, so long as the events occur in large venues and spectators are limited to the mass gathering limit of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

What stays the same in Phase 2?

  • The Three Ws – Wear (a mask), Wait (6 feet away from others), and Wash (your hands) should be practiced;
  • Public playgrounds remain closed;
  • Bars and nightclubs remain closed;
  • Movie theaters, museums, bowling alleys, amusement parks, arcades, and skating rinks remain closed;
  • Bingo parlors and other gaming establishments remain closed;
  • Teleworking continues to be encouraged whenever possible; and
  • Visitation at long-term care facilities remains restricted, except for certain compassionate care situations; and
  • The following facilities that operate within an indoor space remain closed: exercise facilities, gyms, fitness studios, martial arts facilities, dance studios, trampoline and rock-climbing facilities, roller skating rinks, ice skating rinks, and basketball courts.

What is the new mass gathering limit?

  • In Phase 2, gatherings of more than ten people in a single indoor space remains prohibited.
  • In outdoor spaces, gatherings of more than 25 people are prohibited.
  • Mass gathering limits include parades, fairs, festivals, auditoriums, arenas, conference rooms, and meeting halls.
  • The mass gathering limits do not apply to retail businesses, restaurants, personal care and grooming businesses, pools, child care, day camps, and overnight camps. In these settings, there are other restrictions, such as 50 percent reduced occupancy or putting six feet of distance between each group at a restaurant, to ensure that there is not overcrowding.
  • The mass gathering limits do not include gatherings for health and safety, to look for and obtain goods and services, for work, or for receiving governmental services. It does not include normal operations at airports, bus and train stations or stops, medical facilities, libraries, shopping malls and shopping centers.
  • The mass gathering limits do not apply to the exercise of First Amendment rights. However, in these settings, people are strongly encouraged to follow the Three Ws, and should avoid congregating in groups.

What requirements do open retail businesses need to follow?

  • Limit customers inside the store to Emergency Maximum Occupancy;
  • Mark six feet of spacing in lines at point of sale and in other high-traffic areas for customers, such as at deli counters and near high-demand products;
  • Post the Emergency Maximum Occupancy in a noticeable place;

For full details, see North Carolina Executive Order No. 141 and the associated Frequently Asked Questions. See the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Service’s website for additional COVID-19 guidance.

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