In light of growing concerns regarding the community spread of COVID-19, City of Durham Mayor Steve Schewel and Durham County Board of Commissioners Chair (BOCC) Wendy Jacobs have combined and amended their Stay-At-Home Orders for all residents to further help stop the spread of this virus.
According to Mayor Schewel and BOCC Chair Jacobs, the purpose of this act is to strengthen and clarify the previous Orders’ provisions by unifying the City and County Stay-At-Home Orders into a single order to reduce confusion and offer clearer guidance to businesses and residents. The Order goes into effect on Saturday, April 4 at 5 p.m.
“We are amending the Order to respond to questions that have arisen since our original Orders were issued and to respond to violations of the initial order. We have also strengthened the enforcement provisions of this Order to ensure that all businesses and residents take the Order seriously,” said Mayor Schewel. “The good news is that our Stay-At-Home Order has taken hold with our residents and is beginning to work. People are taking social distancing very seriously, and I’m glad to report that we are beginning to see results. We are reducing the rate of growth of the virus in Durham, and we are beginning to flatten the curve. Let’s keep up that good work as a community.”
“We recognize the hardship this virus is causing many people, and our hearts go out to the people who have lost their jobs and those who are isolated,” said BOCC Chair Jacobs. “We still have so much work to do to assist those friends and neighbors through the weeks to come as this pandemic affects all of our lives.”
Specific provisions of the combined and amended Order are as follows:
- Reduces the number of people who can gather in public or private to five, down from 10 in the previous Order.
- Clarifies questions from realtors by continuing to allow virtual showings only, but no in-person showings as strongly recommended by the Director of the Durham County Department of Public Health.
- Bans all sports which involve shared equipment including tennis.
- Requires social distancing and sanitation practices in all retail stores that remain open because they are essential. All stores are required to do their best to protect their workers and customers through social distancing and sanitation rules and practices. This will be enforced by the Durham Police Department and the Durham County Office of the Sheriff.
- Farmers markets may operate by pickup and delivery only.
- Any businesses providing services in a residential setting shall have their employees wear a mask covering the mouth and nose.
- Community fitness centers in subdivisions and in apartment buildings must be closed.
"The strengthened Unified Stay-At-Home Order serves as a great mitigation strategy that serves to protect the health and well-being of Durham residents,” said Director Rodney Jenkins of the Durham County Department of Public Health. “I will continue to encourage Durham residents to practice social distancing and stay at home, as it may be a matter of life or death. We are in this together, Durham County!"
For future COVID-19 updates on City operations, programs, and services, visit https://durhamnc.gov/covid19 and follow the City’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube pages.
For future COVID-19 updates on County operations, programs, and services, visit https://www.dconc.gov/county-departments/departments-f-z/public-information/covid-19 and follow the County’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube pages.
To stay abreast of the COVID-19 situation in Durham and to learn more about how to help reduce the potential spread of this virus, residents are encouraged to visit https://www.dcopublichealth.org or follow the department’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.