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City adds clout to Cooper COVID order

It’s one thing for Gov. Roy Cooper to stand up in Raleigh and announce his latest coronavirus-related order applying to all corners of the state, but Mount Airy officials are adding some local flavor to such mandates.

The tone for this was set during a council meeting on the night of Nov. 19, when Commissioner Steve Yokeley proposed more involvement by city officials in getting citizens to obey COVID-related guidelines and help stem surging infection numbers.

That was followed up with a special public appeal this week from City Hall echoing additional safety measures issued by the governor which went into effect Wednesday and will run through Dec. 11.

Cooper’s Executive Order 180 tightens face mask requirements and enforcement as COVID-19 cases continue to rise rapidly throughout North Carolina and across the country.

The directive makes it clear that everyone needs to wear a face mask whenever they are with someone who is not from the same household, according to information relayed through the city government statement. The governor also has extended the mask requirement to several additional settings.

Those include any public indoor space even when maintaining 6 feet of distance; gyms, even when exercising; all schools both public and private; and every public or private transportation conveyance when traveling with people outside one’s household.

Executive Order 180 further requires large retail businesses with more than 15,000 square feet to have an employee stationed near entrances ensuring mask wearing and implementing occupancy limits for patrons who enter.

“The city has been following Gov. Cooper’s orders and instructions from the Department of Health and Human Services from Day One and will continue to follow the governor’s orders and instructions from DHHS to help protect the citizens and visitors of Mount Airy — safety is our first priority,” the appeal released this week continues.

“The city of Mount Airy Board of Commissioners strongly encourages all citizens and visitors to follow Executive Order 180. All (city) employees have been and will continue to wear face masks and social distance.”

Mount Airy officials remind everyone to practice the three W’s: washing hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water; wait — maintaining at least a 6-foot social distance from others; and wearing a cloth face mask.

“These actions can protect our families and neighbors during this difficult and challenging time,” the city statement reads.” We ask that everyone do their part to protect others and slow the spread of this deadly disease.”

The information released by the city government points out that “until a vaccine is available, we all must work together to stop the spread of COVID-19.”



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