So far, no one in Greensboro has received a citation, fine or penalty for violating any of the numerous COVID-19 restrictions.

No restaurant or retail establishment has been fined for being over the reduced occupancy limits, or for not having their employees and customers wear masks.  No one has been cited or fined for not wearing a mask in their own home, although that can be a violation.

On Friday, Nov. 20, Mayor Nancy Vaughan issued an emergency declaration setting fines and penalties for violating the COVID-19 restrictions that included closing a business for 72 hours for repeated violations.

There was a problem with that emergency declaration by Vaughan because Vaughan as mayor didn’t have the authority to impose fines and penalties on the people of Greensboro for violating executive orders.

The Greensboro City Council came through and on Dec. 1 amended ordinances that went into effect immediately that classified violations of the executive orders as a public nuisance and set the fines and penalties for those violations. 

So the emergency order issued on Nov. 20 actually didn’t go into effect until that Dec. 1 because, before the City Council amended the ordinances, Vaughan’s emergency declaration setting fines and civil penalties could not be enforced.

However, despite the fact that Vaughan’s emergency declaration had no effect on enforcement, it did have an effect before City Council action. 

On Monday, Nov. 23, Vaughan was invited by Cooper to participate in his televised press conference. Vaughan was the only mayor in the state invited to speak at that press conference.

At that press conference Cooper announced another executive order to tighten the restrictions for wearing masks, including requiring people to wear masks in their own homes if people from outside the home are present, requiring people in bars and restaurants to wear masks unless they are actively eating or drinking and requiring people to wear masks when exercising.  

Cooper also asked the municipalities and counties to enforce the executive orders with fines and penalties, like Greensboro had done.

So theoretically since Nov. 20, and legally since Dec. 1, Greensboro has been enforcing the COVID-19 executive orders on wearing masks, limits on the size of gatherings, occupancy limits on businesses, but evidently everyone is complying because not one fine or penalty has been issued.