On June 24, 2020, Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order No. 147, which extends North Carolina’s Safer At Home Phase 2 (Executive Order No. 141) and requires people to wear face coverings while out in public. This Executive Order is effective June 26, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. through July 17, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.
Face coverings (a covering of the nose and mouth that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ear or is simply wrapped around the lower face) will be required in the following settings:
- Retail Businesses & Restaurants. All workers must wear face coverings when they are or may be within 6 feet of another person. Customers must also wear face coverings when they are inside the establishment, unless they state an exception applies.
- Personal Care, Grooming, & Tattoo Businesses. All workers must wear face coverings when they are inside the establishment and may be within 6 feet of another person. Customers must also be required to wear face coverings when they are inside the establishment, unless they state 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 their head which the face covering covers.
- Child Care Facilities, Day Camps, & Overnight Camps. All workers, adults and children 11 years or older must wear face coverings while they are on site and are or may be within 6 feet of another person.
- Long Term Care Facilities. All workers in Long Term Care Facilities, including skilled nursing facilities, adult care homes, family care homes, mental health groups, 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 Long Term Care facilities must follow the face covering requirements in the CDC Infection Control Guidance for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus (COVID-19).
- 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 6 feet of another person. This provision does not apply to people traveling alone with household members or friends in their personal vehicles, but does apply to ride-shares, cabs, etc.
- State Government. State government agencies headed by members of the Governor’s Cabinet must have their on-site workers wear face coverings when they are or may be within 6 feet of another person.
- Meat or Poultry Processing Plants. All workers in any meat or poultry processing plant, packing plant, or slaughterhouse must wear face coverings when they are or may be within 6 feet of another person, and those face coverings must be surgical masks, as long as surgical mask supplies are available.
- Manufacturing, Construction Sites, Agricultural Sites. Social distancing is inherently difficult where multiple workers are together in manufacturing settings, at construction sites, and in migrant farm, other farm, and agricultural settings. Such businesses or operations must require workers to wear face coverings.
Face coverings do not need to be worn by any 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, or is unconscious or incapacitated, or is otherwise unable to put on or remove the face covering without assistance);
- Is under 11 years old;
- 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/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 out that his/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.
North Carolinians will be on the “honor system” about whether or not there is a reason they cannot wear a face covering. Anyone who declines to wear a face covering for any of the above reasons is not required to produce documentation or any other proof of a condition. If a customer states that an exception applies, a business may choose to offer curbside service, provide home delivery, or use some other reasonable measure to deliver its goods or services.
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, law enforcement may enforce trespassing laws and any other laws that the worker, customer, or patron may violate. Citations will be written to businesses or organizations that fail to enforce the requirement to wear face coverings.
Lastly, Executive Order No. 147 amends Executive Order No. 141, such that skilled nursing facilities must restrict visitation of all visitors and non-essential health care personnel at skilled nursing facilities, with the exception of certain compassionate care situations, such as end-of-life situation. These facilities must also cancel communal dining and all group activities, including internal and external activities.
If you have questions about how Executive Order No. 147 affects your business, contact a Gardner Skelton attorney today.