Mayor Nancy Vaughan issued an emergency declaration in Greensboro on Friday, Nov. 20.
The emergency declaration doesn’t include any restrictions in addition to the latest round of coronavirus executive order restrictions from North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper.
But the emergency declaration by Vaughan does state that the city will begin enforcing the restrictions in Executive Order 176, the latest one from Cooper.
Up until 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20, the executive order restrictions by Cooper were not being enforced by the state or the city.
Guilford County Commissioner Justin Conrad asked, “What have they been doing up to now? At what point did this become serious for the city?”
He described the lack of enforcement as “a complete abdication of leadership.”
The emergency order states that offices and businesses found to have been in violation of the reduced occupancy limits by a city employee shall be fined $100 for each person over the limit.
The emergency order states that it will be enforced by “appropriate City employees.” Other than fire marshals, no particular city employees or departments are listed as enforcing the executive order regulations, nor was there any indication that these city employees would receive any additional training in order to become enforcement officers.
The regulations that will be enforced according to the emergency order are:
“- applicable capacity limits clearly marked at all entrances
– compliance with such capacity limits
– signage on all entrances giving notice that face covering, over mouth and nose, is a requirement to gain admission to an 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”
Vaughan’s emergency order states, “offices and businesses found to have been functioning substantially in violation of these guidelines and orders shall be cited for such violations.”
Those in violation get one citation without penalty, but the emergency order states, “Upon the second citation, any such offices and businesses shall be ordered to close immediately for a period of twenty-four (24) hours.” The third violation will result in closure for 48 hours and any further violations will result in closures of 72 hours.