CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mecklenburg County health officials issued new recommendations Tuesday through a COVID-19 directive in a desperate attempt to slow the surge of coronavirus in the community.
"We are asking people to take all of this extremely seriously for the next three weeks," Health Director Gibbie Harris said.
Discovery Place and The Mint Museum announced both will close their doors, encouraging residents to stay home unless it's for essential activities.
"We really want to curb the spread of COVID-19 and help do our part here at the museum to help that happen," said Caroline Portillo, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications for The Mint Museum.
COVID-19 has made it harder than anyone could have imagined, especially for local businesses.
"We've certainly seen a hit in admissions and special events," Portillo said.
But beyond the museums, a walk down the streets of Uptown Charlotte shows how the pandemic has impacted the community.
A once-bustling Uptown, now a ghost town.
"It's tough, it's where we have that balance of being safe and having people come out," said Keith Richardson, Director of Uptown for Charlotte City Partners.
That's where Charlotte City Partners comes in, they are helping struggling businesses adapt the way they do business.
"We've had some folk expand their digital online presence and we've had some people who have expanded outdoor space," Richardson said.
They have also helped create QC Cash, a digital gift card for Uptown businesses, and a Charlotte-owned delivery app called In-Town. The app supports restaurants in Uptown by not charging them for the delivery service.
Businesses are all making changes -- anticipating loss but determined to survive.
"We are certainly hoping to open our doors again when COVID slows down and when we get this under control and people are vaccinated," Portillo said. "We're a visual arts museum -- we thrive on having people here and seeing things in person -- but we are going to continue offering our museum from home even when our doors are back open."