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Mecklenburg County allows some businesses to reopen

The county is rescinding its local Stay Home order, which had some stricter regulations than the statewide order which remains in effect.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Some Mecklenburg County businesses will be allowed to reopen as regulation shifts to a unified, statewide stay home order, Mecklenburg County officials announced Tuesday.

The regulatory changes come as Mecklenburg County rescinds its local stay home order. The rules and regulations of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper's statewide order remain in effect, but those rules have some differences than the local order.

The following businesses, which were locally closed, will be allowed to reopen under the less restrictive state rules:

  • car dealerships, including auto body shops
  • vape shops
  • realtors and insurance companies
  • funeral homes
  • lawn and garden care
  • craft and hobby stores
  • furniture and mattress stores
  • dog grooming
  • housekeeping service,
  • carpet cleaning
  • shared sports courts, such as tennis and basketball
  • other retail stores would be permitted to operate curbside service.  
  • Full list

North Carolina's statewide stay home order continues until May 8.

Mecklenburg County's original stay home order began March 26. The formal rescinding of the county's regulations is expected by Thursday. 

That means that starting Thursday, you can expect to see the listed businesses begin to reopen.

"The unified coalition of the County, the City, and the towns that began working together when this crisis started will stay together," said Mecklenburg County Manager Dena R. Diorio. "We have agreed to proceed like the rest of the state as the phased reopening proceeds."

All businesses must still abide by social distancing rules, which include:

  • 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.

Mass gatherings, defined as more than ten people, are still prohibited with the exception of funerals, which may now have up to 50 people in the same room.

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.

On Tuesday, Mecklenburg County officials announced two more people died from COVID-19 in Mecklenburg County. To date, 1,528 County residents have tested positive for the virus and 45 have died.  

This comes as there are calls statewide and within the county to reopen businesses. There have been protests across the state, and some of the six towns within Mecklenburg County have pushed back against the local Stay at Home Order. 

RELATED: Group pushing for reopening of Mecklenburg County is planning protest in Charlotte

The Town of Matthews voted Monday night to break away from Mecklenburg County's Stay at Home order.

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