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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) News and Updates

Posted on: March 20, 2020

Durham Police Department - COVID-19 Public Awareness Update #2

Friday, March 20: The Police Department will enforce the order by the Secretary of NCDHHS for restaurants to close all seating areas, and will enforce the Mayor's declaration for gyms, clubs, and theaters to cease operations.

In light of new information regarding the presence of community spread of COVID-19 in North Carolina, local jurisdictions are expected to enforce the more stringent Order of Abatement of Imminent Hazard issued by the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services which states that “seating areas of restaurants and bars constitute an imminent hazard for the spread of COVID-19.” Until March 31, 2020, or until the Order is rescinded or replaced, restaurants are restricted to carry-out, drive-through and delivery. Restaurants must close all seating areas immediately. Restaurant staff are not permitted to serve patrons indoors or in an outdoor seating area.  

In addition, on March 19, 2020, Mayor Steve Schewel signed an amendment to the Declaration of State of Emergency in the City of Durham restricting operations at gyms, fitness centers, health clubs and theaters. Effective 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 20 until noon March 28, 2020 if not otherwise rescinded, all gyms, fitness centers, health clubs and theaters must cease operations on their premises. This restriction does not prohibit gyms, fitness centers, and health clubs from providing fitness or health instruction and programming through virtual access and streaming services. Gyms, fitness centers and health clubs being used to provide childcare services on their premises may remain open for the limited purpose of providing services and activities specifically related to the provision of childcare.

The Durham Police Department will enforce these restrictions. The DHHS Order of Abatement may be viewed at The Amendment to the Declaration of State of Emergency in the City of Durham may be viewed at

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