Greensboro police visit more than 160 businesses to ensure compliance with new face mask order

Greensboro police (WGHP file photo)

Greensboro police (WGHP file photo)

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Greensboro police have visited more than 160 businesses to make sure they had an employee present to enforce North Carolina’s mask requirement, according to police.

On Wednesday, police say that officers had visited 103 retail locations, 51 restaurants and nine fitness facilities for a total of 163.

“Kay Jewelers at Friendly Center, Dick’s Sporting Goods Bridford Parkway, Target Bridford Parkway and Sparetime Bowling on Hornaday were all very positive,” police said in a statement. “When the officers visited these businesses, they approached it as compliance checks and not ‘warnings.’ They took a more positive/educational approach versus a threatening or enforcement approach.”

Police said that their priority is compliance and would prefer to avoid giving out fines.

Gov. Roy Cooper announced a stricter state-wide mask mandate on Monday that says North Carolinians must wear a mask at home when you have friends or family over to visit as well as wearing a mask at work, at the gym, at the store and at school.

The new executive order also requires 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 restrictions will remain in place through at least Dec. 11.

Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan said during a Monday news conference that 100 more people could die from COVID in Guilford County before the end of the year.

Vaughan issued an emergency declaration on Friday to reinforce Governor Cooper’s executive order requiring face coverings and reduced occupancy for indoor activities.

“This enhanced State of Emergency does not include additional regulations,” Mayor Vaughan said. “This is an effort to reinforce existing regulations, allowing the City Manager to deploy employees as needed.”

To reinforce the guidelines, business owners found to have been functioning substantially in violation of the guidelines and orders will be cited for such violations. 

A statement released by the City of Greensboro about the emergency declaration guidelines is provided below:

“They shall be cited and fined $100 for each person found to be on the premises or within any structure in excess of the limits imposed by the above-referenced Executive Orders for such premises or structures. This fine shall be a civil penalty to be enforced by City employees, such as Fire officials who make observations of non-compliant operation of structures in the City and render civil penalties. 

A warning will be issued for the first violation. Upon the second violation, any such offices and businesses shall be cited and ordered to close immediately for a period of 24 hours.  Upon the third violation, offices and businesses shall be cited and ordered to close immediately and remain closed for a period of 48 hours. A fourth violation requires offices and businesses to cited and close immediately and remain closed for 72 hours. The closures will be progressive according to non-compliance. Days when the business is typically closed are not included in the required closure.

‘I want all businesses to safely remain open and to safely send our children back to school,’ said Mayor Vaughan. ‘Until a vaccine is readily available, we must work together to stop the spread of Covid-19, by practicing the 3-Ws (Wear, Wait and Wash). Prevention is the key. Support our local business by using curbside or delivery options, especially if you cannot wear a mask.’

Offices and businesses should be in compliance with, among other things, the following specific requirements:

·         Applicable capacity limits clearly marked at all entrances

·         Compliance with such capacity limitations

·         Signage on all entrances giving notice that face covering, over mouth and nose, is a requirement to gain admission to any such office or business

·         All employees who interact with the general public wearing a face covering

·         Any employee who cannot maintain social distance from other employees consistently must wear a face covering

·         Social distancing must be maintained as per the Governor’s order

·         Hand sanitizer must be provided

For more information, resources and guidance about how offices and businesses may safely operate in the context of this COVID-19 pandemic, visit the NC Department of Health and Human Services’ webpages for guidance and its COVID-19 dashboard.”

North Carolina currently remains in Phase 3.

Under Phase 3:

Restrictions for vulnerable populations will be lessened with encouragement to continue practicing social distancing

Rigorous restrictions on nursing homes and congregate care settings will continue.

Large outdoor venues with seating greater than 10,000 may operate with 7% occupancy for spectators. 

Smaller outdoor entertainment venues, like arenas or amphitheaters, may operate outdoors at 30% of outdoor capacity, or 100 guests, whichever is less. 

Movie theaters and conference centers may open indoor spaces to 30% of capacity, or 100 guests, whichever is less.

Bars may operate outdoors at 30% of outdoor capacity, or 100 guests, whichever is less. 

Amusement parks may open at 30% occupancy, outdoor attractions only. 

The limits on mass gatherings will be reduced to 10 people indoors and 50 people outdoors. 

The 11 p.m. curfew on alcohol sales for in-person consumption in locations such as restaurants and outdoor bars will be extended.

Latest headlines from FOX8

Must-See Stories

More Must-See Stories
North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline: 1-866-462-3821


Follow FOX8 on Twitter