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Requirements for face coverings go statewide

At 5 p.m., Friday, June 26, 2020, the North Carolina statewide order to wear face coverings went into effect.

Dare County’s mask requirement, implemented at 9 a.m., Sunday, June 21, was aligned with the Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 147 “for consistency and to eliminate confusion amongst the public,” states Update #13 from Dare County’s Department of Health and Human Services.

In North Carolina, 58,818 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases have been identified by Friday, June 26. Presumed recovery was set at 36,921 individuals on Monday, June 22.

This past week, new cases have risen by 6,017, with three daily case totals over 1,000.

Hospitalizations on Friday totaled 892, with 23% hospital beds and intensive care units available. For respirators, 874 are in use out of 2,468 available.

The Executive Order cites the increases in key metrics, as reasons for the face mask requirement and for extending Phase 2 reopening until July 17.

The Executive Order delineates 10 specific areas where face coverings are required:

All workers must wear face coverings in retail businesses, restaurants, personal care, grooming and tattoo businesses when they are or may be within six feet of another person.

Restaurants “must have all customers wear face coverings when not at their table, unless the customer states that an exception applies.”

In retail businesses, customers are required to wear face coverings when inside a business and may be within six beet of another person.

The Executive Order addresses wearing face coverings in child care facilities, day camps and overnight camps, public or private transportation and high-density occupational settings where social distancing is difficult, like construction sites.

Surgical masks are required in meat or poultry processing plants and long-term care facilities.

Exceptions to wearing a face covering include:

– medical or behavioral condition or disability.

– under 11 years of age.

– actively eating or drinking.

– strenuously exercising.

– communicating with someone who is hearing-impaired and requires the mouth to be visible.

– speaking for broadcast or to an audience.

– working at home or in a personal vehicle.

– temporarily removing face covering to secure government or medical services or for identification.

– wearing face covering creates risk at work.

– face covering impedes visibility to operate equipment or vehicle.

– is a child whose responsible adult has been unable to place a face covering safely on the child’s face.

Declaring a face covering exception is on the honor system.

Citations are only written against businesses or organizations failing to enforce the face covering requirement. Law enforcement is not authorized to criminally enforce the face covering requirements.

However, if a business or organization does not allow entry to a worker, customer or patron who refuses to wear a face covering and who refuses the leave the premises, law enforcement may enforce trespassing laws and any other laws the person may violate.

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