Burlington leaders amend emergency declaration to stay ahead of the curve

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BURLINGTON, N.C. — The City of Burlington will begin enforcing social distancing and sanitation at big box retail stores Wednesday.

“The goal of it is to target some specific behaviors and businesses in the community that we’ve seen are causing potentially higher risks for COVID-19 transmission,” Mayor Ian Baltutis said.

The city has received feedback from the community about too many people in stores.

Baltutis compares the experience to Black Friday.

Shopper Lee Atkinson agrees.

“They’re closer to us than probably our neighbors are while we’re shopping,” Atkinson said, about store employees.

That’s why beginning Wednesday at 7 p.m., retail giants must restrict the number of people inside and place 6-foot markers on the floor.

“These are not easy fixes to it but they are necessary,” Baltutis said.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, Burlington has worked to stay ahead of the curve

“We’ve gone to many of the big box retail stores here and it’s all about education and bringing them under the guidance and more clarity that the overall big picture is keeping people well and safe,” Assistant Chief of Police Chris Gaddis said.

Atkinson falls into the high-risk group for virus exposure and supports local leaders on the amendment.

“I think it’s a great thing to remind people that this is a serious time,” Atkinson said.

Gaddis explains the purpose of the amendment is not to get people in trouble or fine them, it’s all a learning experience.

“The sooner that we can get over the curve and flatten this curve then the sooner we can get back to our normal,” Gaddis said.

If you have any questions regarding COVID-19 you can call the Alamance County hotline at (336) 290-0361.

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North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline: 1-866-462-3821

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