Pittsboro, NC – North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has issued a new Executive Order, effective this Friday June 26 at 5pm, that requires face coverings or masks in some settings. Here are some important points that the Chatham County Sheriff’s department want the public to be aware of as to this Order and their approach to enforcing some elements of it:
1. Arrests are NOT authorized for failing to wear a mask under this new statewide order – the Order says that only businesses can be cited for a violation of the Order, not individual patrons, workers, or guests. The Order specifically states that “all North Carolinians will be on the honor system about whether or not there is a reason why they cannot wear a Face Covering. Everyone in this state is asked to tell the truth and-if they are healthy and able to wear a mask-to wear a Face Covering so that they do not put other people at risk of serious illness and death.”
2. Masks are not required at all times when in public – masks are only required if a person is inside or outside in/at a: retail business, restaurant, hair salon, child care facility, state government facility, public transportation, high-density workplace (like a meat processing plant), a nursing home, and in health care facilities. There is no mentioned requirement to wear a mask in most private workplace settings, in the home, or outside in public places like parks. Mask wear is still encouraged, but not required, in other public or private settings.
3. There are many exceptions to mandated mask wear – People who are actively eating and drinking are not required to wear masks, nor are masks required for children under age 11. These exceptions are specifically listed in the attached Order.
4. Wearing a mask while carrying a concealed weapon is not illegal if the person is wearing the mask for purposes of prevention of COVID-19 infection and is otherwise authorized by law to carry the concealed weapon – my former colleague, Jim Secor with the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office, did an excellent write-up on this today for a local newspaper. We have received many questions about this of late as well. For further information, click here.
If any person believes that a person is violating some element of the new requirement to wear a face covering in some settings, they are encouraged to contact law enforcement here in Chatham County at 919-542-2911.
Source: Chatham County Sheriff’s office