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NC Governor’s coronavirus related order extends public school closures through at least May 15, bans mass gatherings of more than 50, closes some businesses

Gov. Roy Cooper today issued a coronavirus related Executive Order effective at 5 p.m., Wednesday, March 25, 2020, that now prohibits mass gatherings of more than 50 people; orders the closure of personal care and grooming businesses; and outlines long-term care visitation limitations. This order shall remain in effect for 30 days unless rescinded or superseded by another applicable Executive Order.

The Executive Order also extends K-12 public school closures until at least May 15, 2020.

A mass gathering is defined as any event or convening that brings together more than 50 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.

A mass gathering does not include normal operations at airports, bus and train stations, medical facilities and shopping malls and centers. It also does not include office environments, factories, grocery stores and child care facilities.

Entertainment facilities without a retail or dining component are ordered to close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, though any retail or dining component may operate within that establishment solely for that purpose. Any dining facilities may operate only within the restrictions set out in the governor’s previous executive order. These facilities include, but are not limited to, the following types of business:

  • Bingo Parlors, including Bingo sites operated by charitable organizations
  • Bowling Alleys
  • Ice Skating Rinks
  • Indoor Exercise Facilities (such as gyms, yoga studios, martial arts facilities, indoor trampoline and rock climbing facilities)
  • Health Clubs
  • Indoor/Outdoor Pools
  • Live Performance Venues
  • Movie Theaters
  • Skating Rinks
  • Spas
  • Gaming and business establishments which allow gaming activities, such as video poker, gaming, sweepstakes, video games, arcade games, pinball machines or other computer, electronic or mechanical devices played for amusement.

In addition, because of the ability to practice the social distancing necessary to reasonably protect against COVID-19 is significantly reduced in certain establishments where individuals are in close proximity for extended periods of time, or service personnel are in direct contact with clients, personal care and grooming businesses, including but not limited to the following, are also ordered to close:

  • Barber Shops
  • Beauty Salons (including waxing and hair removal centers)
  • Hair Salons
  • Nail Salons/Manicure/Pedicure Providers
  • Massage Parlors
  • Tattoo Parlors

To the extent that local government functions are required under state and federal law, the order also directs appropriate local governmental agencies to continue to exercise their responsibilities, including but not limited to local county Department of Social Services (“DSS”) offices, Health Departments, Registers of Deeds and other local government functions that are required to protect lives and property.

Long-term care facilities shall restrict visitation of all visitors and non-essential health care personnel, except for certain compassionate care situations, for example, an end-of-life situation. This restriction does not include essential health care personnel.

For purposes of this Executive Order only, long-term care facilities include all of the following:

  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Adult care homes
  • Family care homes
  • Mental health group homes and
  • Intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

For more on North Carolina’s response to COVID-19, visit the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services’ Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Response in North Carolina page. To receive regular alerts on the rapidly evolving situation and North Carolina’s response, text COVIDNC to 898211.


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