In Dare, face coverings must be worn in public spaces starting Sunday

Published 5:51 pm Friday, June 19, 2020

Dare County officials met Friday afternoon and have updated the Emergency Declaration for COVID-19 to include a mandate that face coverings be worn in indoor and outdoor public spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained. This measure becomes effective Sunday, June 21 at 9 a.m. The full order may be viewed here.

According to the statement released late Friday afternoon, the updated declaration covers all areas of Dare County, including the towns of Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Manteo and the unincorporated areas of Dare County, including Hatteras Island and the Dare mainland.

“This decision comes following discussion by officials regarding the current state guidelines that strongly encourage face coverings,” stated the release. “Voluntary compliance with face covering recommendations has not been effective within Dare County and local business owners have requested a stronger tool for compliance.”

Dare’s statement noted that there are some exceptions to the updated mandate, including for those dining in a restaurant, for reasons related to medical or behavioral conditions and for children under the age of 12. The complete list of exceptions is available here.

“Wearing a face covering or mask in public when unable to social distance is crucial to maintaining the health and safety of the Outer Banks community,” the release continued. “Keep in mind that there may be justifiable reasons some individuals are not wearing a mask or cloth face-covering in public. Please be kind, show compassion, and wear your mask to protect those who can’t.”

The Emergency Declaration states: “Pursuant to N.C.G.S. 166A-19.31, a violation of any of the restrictions and prohibitions imposed under this declaration is punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor in accordance with G.S. 14- 288.20A.”

For more information on cloth face coverings and frequently asked questions on the response to COVID-19 in Dare County, visit DareNC.com/COVID19.

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