North Carolina’s Phase 2 was extended on June 24th, by Executive Order 147 - Phase 2 Extension. It also added the requirement of face coverings while in public and not able to social distance.
Governor Cooper’s recent executive order extends Phase 2 of the re-opening process to July 17th at 5pm (these orders take effect June 26th at 5pm) due to a continuing upward trajectory in case counts, no reduction in the percentage of positive cases, and growing numbers of hospitalizations and emergency room visits (see NC Case Information). The feedback he has received from healthcare systems is that if the trends continue, there are concerns that the system will be unable to serve the increased number of cases.
New Face Mask Requirements:
Residents have already been advised that due to multiple studies showing that masks protect communities from spread of COVID-19, all those above 2 years old should be wearing masks in public when they cannot socially distance. This is continued under the current order. The new order addresses continued non-compliance with those guidelines by requiring:
Use of face coverings by customers who are or may be within 6 feet of others in the following establishments:
restaurant (anytime a customer is not at their table),
tattoo/nail/hair salons (unless removing the face mask is temporarily necessary for shaving faces, etc.),
state government, and
those 11 and older in overnight camps, childcare facilities and day care.
Use of face coverings by employees who are or may be within 6 feet of others in the list of businesses in bullet point number one (for example, in retail stores, employees who work stocking after hours and are able to socially distance would not be required to wear coverings).
Use of face coverings in public and private transportation when people are or may be within 6 feet of another person, including ride sharing, bus stops, train stations, etc. but excluding driving in a personal vehicle with family and friends.
Use of surgical masks (these will require special fitting and training) in meat or poultry processing plants when workers are or may be within 6 feet of others.
Use of surgical masks (these will require special fitting and training) for workers in long-term care facilities. FURTHER LIMITATIONS FOR CERTAIN LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES ARE ALSO SPECIFIED.
Other health care settings must follow the guidance in the CDC Infection Control Guidance for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus.
Use of face coverings when workers are or may be within 6 feet of another person in certain high-density occupational settings (construction, manufacturing, migrant farm and other farm and agricultural settings). This includes NAICS sectors 311 – 339, 236-238, 11, 112,1151 and 1152.
Exceptions: The order does not require Face Coverings for:
Workers, customers or patrons who should not wear a face covering due to a medical or behavioral condition or disability,
Anyone who is under 11 years of age,
Those actively eating or drinking,
Those strenuously exercising,
Those communicating with someone who is hearing impaired,
Those giving a speech for broadcast or to audience,
Someone temporarily removing the face covering to secure government or medical services or for identification purposes,
Those who would be at risk from wearing a face covering at work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulations or workplace safety guidelines,
Those who have found that the face covering impedes visibility when operating equipment or vehicles,
Any child whose parent, guardian or responsible person has been unable to place a face covering safely on the child’s face.
No proof (see note below) should be required related to conditions, etc. by the business, but citizens are asked to be on the “honor system” since failing to wear a face covering puts others at risk of serious illness or death.
NOTE: In addition, while the Executive Order does not specifically mention religious accommodation, should you have an employee, patron or customer expressing religious objections, you would need to take those into consideration.
Businesses may choose to serve those with exceptions in other ways, such as curbside service, home delivery or some other reasonable means.
Other than for the exceptions above businesses may be cited for non-compliance. Trespassing and other laws may be enforced if a business does not allow entry to a worker, customer or patron and the person refuses to leave the premises.
Help protect your employees and customers by providing masks.