Durham Officials Announce Update to Stay-At-Home Order

COVID-19 Resource Center,

This article was originally posted on Durham County's website and can be found here.

Amended Order largely adopts the standards announced by Governor Cooper in Early May.

Post Date: 05/15/2020 1:04 PM

    DURHAM, N.C.  Mayor Steve Schewel and Durham County Commissioners Chair Wendy Jacobs today unveiled several changes to Durham’s Stay at Home Order. The purpose of the action is to simplify some portions of the current order and to bring other sections more in line with Governor Roy Cooper’s statewide Executive Order 138. North Carolina has just ended its first week of the statewide Phase I reopening of activities that have been closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Retail businesses are governed by the executive order’s retail regulations and those businesses have been slowly reopening. As noted last week, Durham no longer draws a distinction between essential and non-essential businesses. At the same time, many congregate businesses with a focus on providing entertainment are still ordered to be closed by EO 138.

    As more businesses reopen, the expectation of the amendment and the Executive Order is that people should, and will, stay at home unless they have a specific reason to go out.  Those reasons are set forth in the Allowable Activities section of EO 138 (Section 2C).

    Social Distancing and Sanitation Requirements provisions remain in place, but with some greater explanation and the inclusion of some provisions which had been elsewhere in the previous order.

    Sports/Recreational Activity (SDSR 2) have been made consistent with EO 138, and Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Service’s explanation. The standard for sports and recreational activity has changed from one focused on shared equipment to one emphasizing compliance with social distancing.

    Regarding Food at Work (SDSR 8), a limited exception has been provided to permit employers to provide their personnel with prepackaged snacks and box lunches so long as the sanitation and social distancing standards are complied with.  The expectation is if they minimize what is handled, stagger employees going to make their selection, and do not allow congregate eating, that will be enough to minimize the risk of transmission.

    Face Coverings (SDSR 10) makes a distinction between two orders. While EO 138 recommends the use of face coverings, Durham continues to require them.  Questions regarding how aggressively to enforce that requirement will be forwarded to the recently created Durham Recovery and Renewal Task Force, which will advise the county and the city on how to safely reopen.

    Regarding Religious Services, Durham will follow EO 138 and exempt religious services from the definition of mass gatherings.  At the same time, services of more than 10 persons should be held outdoors, and in all cases, compliance with the SDSR must be maintained.  This includes a need to frequently sanitize high touch surfaces and not sharing items such as prayer books and hymnals, passing collection plates and the like.  As for funerals, the number of attendees is limited to 25, half the 50 allowed in EO 138.

    As it relates to childcare and consistent with the decision to no longer differentiate between essential and non-essential workers, that restriction no longer applies to who may use childcare facilities.  The other restrictions remain, pending the recommendations of that Task Force on how to best protect of the children, the caregivers, and all their families.

    Real estate restrictions remain although modifications have been made to permit showings of occupied dwellings, and to allow more than 3 showings with an hour between each for sanitation.

    Summer camps are currently permitted and will line up with EO 138. There is an expectation of further guidance being provided on their operation from the Task Force.

    The new Order and a copy of FAQs can be found at the links below:

    The new Stay-at-Home Order can be reviewed when you click here.

    The Order went into effect today at 5 p.m. The Order will remain in effect until it is rescinded.