Mecklenburg County, the City of Charlotte and the six county towns, have agreed to follow the State of North Carolina’s Stay at Home Order starting April 30.
Mecklenburg County Manager Dena R. Diorio announced the agreement to the Board of County Commissioners at its public policy meeting Tuesday afternoon, one day before the county’s current order was set to expire.
"The unified coalition of the County, the City, and the towns that began working together when this crisis started will stay together," said Diorio. "We have agreed to proceed like the rest of the state as the phased reopening proceeds."
Mecklenburg’s Stay at Home Order began March 26 and is more restrictive than the state order regarding certain businesses—including car dealerships, landscaping services, real estate brokerage, and other businesses not considered essential.
Following the state order, the list below outlines what is now considered Essential Businesses/Activities:
- Defense and military contractors that develop products, processes, equipment, technology, and related services that serve the United States military, national defense, and national security interests.
- Electronic retailers that sell or service cell phones, computers, tablets, and other communications technology.
- Lawn and garden equipment retailers.
- Book stores that sell educational material.
- Religious facilities, entities, groups, gatherings, including funerals. Also, services, counseling, pastoral care, and other activities provided by religious organizations to the members of their faith community. Gatherings may not exceed 10 people.
- Insurance companies, underwriters, agents, brokers, and related insurance claims and agency services.
- Real estate services including brokerage, appraisal and title services.
- Automobile dealers.
All Essential Businesses must still abide by Social Distancing Requirements outlined below:
- Maintaining at least six (6) feet distancing from other individuals.
- Washing hands using soap and water for at least twenty (20) seconds as frequently as possible or the use of hand sanitizer.
- Regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces.
- Facilitating online or remote access by customers if possible.
A mass gathering is still defined as any event or convening that brings together more than ten (10) persons in a single room or single space at the same time, such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, or any other confined indoor or outdoor space. This includes parades, fairs, and festivals.
One exception to this is that in an effort to promote human dignity and limit suffering, funerals are permitted to include no more than fifty (50) persons, while observing Social Distancing Requirements to the extent possible.
In addition to following the state guidelines, the order will also include guidance for retail businesses to take orders online or by phone and provide curbside pickup service.
"We believe this provides businesses the parameters needed, but doing it in a safe, responsible manner," said Diorio.
Public Health Director Gibbie Harris told the Board that she is cautiously optimistic that transitioning to the state order will help clarify what is and what is not allowed and maintain consistency within the county and across the state.
"While it’s important to remain unified, it does not eliminate the need for all of us to continue social distancing, wear masks when that’s not possible, and stay at home if you don’t need to go out," said Harris.
The new Proclamation rescinding the previous one will be signed by the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners George Dunlap, Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles and the mayors of Mecklenburg County’s six smaller towns.
Last week, Governor Roy Cooper announced a three-phased approach to reopening North Carolina that begins with Phase 1 on May 8 if certain data parameters are met. The parameters include testing, a reduction in hospital patients, and a continued flattening of the curve of new patients.
The North Carolina’s Stay at Home Order can be found in Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 121 and additional information can be found on the Frequently Asked Questions page. Additionally, details of the Governor’s phased reopening plan can be found here.
To answer questions about the change in the Order, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Stay at Home Order Call Center at 704-353-1926 will remain open from 8 am to 6 pm throughout the week. Residents can also call 2-1-1 for questions about the state order.