Safer at Home Phase 3 FAQs
The City and County appreciate your effort to comply with North Carolina Executive Orders 169, 176, and 180 (Safer at Home Phase 3). With everyone’s cooperation, we hope to control the virus quickly so that life can soon return to normal.
Current Status: Phase 3 Extended & Mask requirements tightened
As of Wednesday, November 25 at 5 p.m., the City and County of Durham have adopted the State’s Executive Order 180, with no additional local requirements.
- View Durham County's Safer at Home Order Amendment 13 in English and Spanish (PDF)
- View the Mayor's adoption of the Order in English and Spanish (PDF)
- View Gov. Roy Cooper’s statewide Executive Order 169 (PDF)
- View Gov. Roy Cooper's statewide Executive Order 176 (PDF - extends Phase 3, updates mass gathering limits)
- View. Gov. Roy Cooper's statewide Executive Order 180 (PDF - tightens mask requirements starting Nov. 25 through Dec. 11)
- View holiday safety guidelines
Understanding Safer at home Phase 3
North Carolina and Durham remain under Phase 3 until at least December 11. North Carolinians must stay vigilant on mask wearing and social distancing.
Updated North Carolina Mask Requirement Effective Nov. 25 through Dec. 11
For a quick overview:
- View updated mask requirement FAQs in English
- View Phase 3.0 Extension FAQs in English or Spanish
- View Phase 3.0 Overview FAQs in English or Spanish
What is new in the Phase 3 extension?
- Additional guidelines are in place for wearing face coverings, effective Nov. 25 through Dec. 11.
- The Phase 3 measures are extended through Dec. 11, 2020.
- The mass gathering limit for indoor spaces is reduced from 25 to 10 people.
What remains the same under Phase 3?
- Face coverings are still required in public when it is not possible to maintain social distancing from non-household members.
- The outdoor mass gathering limit remains at 50.
- This order does not change the reduced capacity limits set out for certain facilities and venues, including:
- Fitness and exercise facilities remain open, subject to stated capacity limits and other requirements.
- Restaurants remain open, subject to stated capacity limits and other requirements.
- Personal care businesses remain open, subject to stated capacity limits and other requirements.
- Museums and aquariums remain open, subject to stated capacity limits and other requirements.
- Movie theaters remain open, subject to stated capacity limits and other requirements. Entertainment/gaming venue guidelines (PDF)
- Arenas and performing arts centers remain open, subject to stated capacity limits and other requirements.
- Meeting spaces in hotels, conference centers, meeting halls, and receptions venues may host receptions, meetings, and other functions, subject to capacity limits and other restrictions. Meeting venue guidelines (PDF)
- The outdoor areas of amusement parks may reopen, subject to capacity limits and other restrictions. Indoor rides at amusement parks remain closed. Amusement park guidelines (PDF)
- Bars’ outdoor seating areas remain open, subject to reduced capacity limits and other restrictions. Indoor bar areas remain closed. Bar guidelines (PDF)
- Music halls, night clubs, lounges, adult entertainment, venues for live performances, and arenas with spectators where guests are seated remain open, subject to reduced capacity limits. Small/medium venue guidelines (PDF)
- Very large outdoor facilities with a capacity of more than 10,000 guests remain open at 7% of the facility’s total seating capacity, if they meet certain requirements. Large outdoor venue guidelines (PDF)
- Alcohol sales are still required to cease from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Which gatherings or other events are not subject to the 10-person indoor mass gathering limit?
- Worship, religious, spiritual gatherings, wedding ceremonies, funeral services and other First Amendment activities.
- Gatherings for work or for receiving governmental services.
- Gatherings at places that are subject to other capacity limits stated in the executive orders. These include fitness and exercise facilities, restaurants, personal care businesses, museums and aquariums, movie theaters, hotels, conference centers and reception venues.
- Normal operations at airports, bus and train stations or stops, medical facilities, libraries, shopping malls and shopping centers.
- Families of more than 10 people who reside together.
Understanding Safer at Home Phase 3
Visit the State’s website for additional information on Phase 3, including FAQs and guidelines for common activities and businesses. Visit NC.gov.
Complete the Business Safety Checklist
Complete the checklist in English or Spanish to get a customized poster to display the steps you are taking to keep employees and customers safe. Visit BackOnTheBull.com.
How do I report a violation of the Safer at Home Order?
- To report violations in the City or County of Durham:
Call the Durham Emergency Communications Center non-emergency line at 919-560-4600.
Please DO NOT call the non-emergency phone number for general inquiries or questions about the Order. If your question is not answered on this FAQ webpage, contact Durham One Call at 919-560-1200 for assistance Monday-Friday between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- To report violations at Duke University:
If you have any questions or concerns or observe students whose behavior does not adhere to these policies, please call 800-826-8109, option 3, the Duke “Speak Up” reporting line, or email email@example.com, which goes to the Office of Student Conduct in the Division of Student Affairs. Submissions by phone and email will be sent to the appropriate department for follow up.
If you need an immediate response to an off-campus issue, the Durham Neighborhoods United Protocol for Dealing with Off-Campus Student Housing should be followed.
How is the Order being enforced within the City limits?
It is the City’s priority to enforce the Order through education, dialogue, and seeking voluntary cooperation from all residents and businesses. If voluntary cooperation is not achieved, the following steps will be taken:
- Step 1 – Advisory Education: The City will respond to violations with contact from the Durham Police Department (DPD) and City Attorney’s Office to provide education and an opportunity for voluntary compliance. This includes delivery of an advisory letter by DPD to notify the individual or business of their responsibility to follow the Order, and a call or letter from the Attorney’s Office.
- Step 2 – Criminal Citation and Cease and Desist Letter: For continued violations, DPD will issue a citation and the Attorney’s Office will issue a cease and desist letter. After the citation and letter are issued, DPD will visit again to check on compliance with the Order.
- Step 3 – Litigation: As a last resort for noncompliance, the City Attorney’s Office will evaluate the viability of further legal action.
What does it mean for businesses to “self-certify"?
Self-certifying means businesses are voluntarily agreeing to follow a set of best practices based on guidance by public health experts for reducing the spread of COVID-19. Businesses will have the opportunity to demonstrate they have self-certified by publicly and prominently displaying at their place of business a checklist of safety guidelines that the COVID-19 Recovery and Renewal Task Force has developed in collaboration with local experts. The checklist will include both a common set of best practices we expect of all gathering places as well as optional industry-specific practices.
How do I complete self-certification for my business?
Visit BackOnTheBull.com to complete the self-certification checklist in English or Spanish.The process will entail downloading and printing a self-certification checklist for your industry and posting it prominently in a place in your businesses where all customers will see it upon entering. The checklist will serve as a reminder to our businesses of the practices they are committing to follow. Prominently displaying it will encourage accountability to business patrons who will know what they should expect upon entering the establishment.
Tuesday, October 13: Durham Parks and Recreation (DPR) is pleased to announce that the Edison Johnson Aquatics Center and Campus Hills Pool are now open for lap swim by reservation only. Read on...
Tuesday, October 6: Due to COVID-19, activities like trick-or-treating, indoor events, and large gatherings are discouraged, and considered high risk. Learn about safety guidelines and other ways to celebrate including many DPR events. Read on...
Wednesday, Sept. 2: The City has returned to regular water billing practices and will resume cutoffs for nonpayment. To remain operational, the City must receive payments; there are resources and options for those experiencing hardship. Read on...
Monday, August 17: As some Durham offices re-open to employees, Beverly Thompson hosts a conversation about what it takes to safely go back such settings. Read on...
Thursday, August 6: After suspending water disconnects for several months due to COVID-19, the City will begin resuming regular billing practices. Customers who need assistance may apply online for a payment plan or Water Hardship Fund. Read on...
Tuesday, July 21: More than 80 Durham businesses have received assistance from the Small Business Recovery Fund to help them recover during the Covid-19 pandemic; applications are now open for a second round of funding beginning July 20. Read on...
Wednesday, July 15: The Recovery & Renewal Task Force teamed up with Duke’s Center for Advanced Hindsight and McKinney to create a reopening campaign, including a business self-certification tool & ways for the community to show support. Read on...
Thursday, July 9: Durham City and County Officials announced an update to the Safer-at-Home Order first issued on May 28, 2020. This amendment, to go into effect at 5 p.m. July 9, 2020, makes additional changes in several major areas. Read on...
November 13 - Twelfth Amendment to Emergency Declaration/Safer-at-Home Order
Aligns with the North Carolina Phase 3 Extension (Executive Order 176)
October 2 – Eleventh Amendment to Emergency Declaration/Safer-at-Home Order
Aligns with the North Carolina Phase 3 (Executive Order 169).
September 4 – Tenth Amendment to Emergency Declaration/Safer-at-Home Order
Aligns with the North Carolina Phase 2.5 (Executive Order 163).
July 9 – Ninth Amendment to Emergency Declaration/Safer-at-Home Order
Aligns with the North Carolina Phase Two Extension (Executive Order 147) with specific exceptions.
June 12 – Eighth Amendment to Emergency Declaration/Safer-at-Home Order
Updates focus on outdoor exercise classes along with changes for real estate.
May 29 – Seventh Amendment to Emergency Declaration/Transition to Safer-at-Home Order
The updated order closely aligns with the state order (Executive Order 141) and allows more businesses to re-open.
May 22 – Sixth Amendment to Emergency Declaration/Stay-at-Home Order
Modified to reflect some of the state’s latest changes (Executive Order 141), while keeping several additional requirements in place for a little longer.
May 15 – Fifth Amendment to Emergency Declaration/Stay-at-Home Order
Mostly adopts the Governor’s Executive Order 138 with some additional requirements for Durham residents/visitors.
April 24 – Fourth Amendment to Emergency Declaration/Stay-at-Home Order
Updates to combined Stay-At-Home Order including an extension to May 15.
April 17 – Third Amendment to Emergency Declaration/Stay-at-Home Order
Update provides additional guidelines around face coverings, farmers markets, and activities for realtors.
April 3 – Second Amendment to Emergency Declaration/Combined Stay-at-Home Order
Combines the City and County Stay-At-Home Orders into a single order to reduce confusion and offer clearer guidance to businesses and residents.
March 25 – Amendment to City’s Emergency Declaration/Creation of Stay-at-Home Order
March 20 – Amendment to City’s Emergency Declaration
Expands closures to gyms, fitness centers, health clubs, and theaters.
March 13 – City of Durham Emergency Declaration
Declares that a state of emergency exists in the City of Durham and prohibits a group of 100 or more persons to be located in a City facility that is owned/co-owned with the County.