The government response to the COVID-19 crisis has been somewhat confusing.
In Guilford County, people were encouraged to leave home for outdoor exercise, unless that exercise involved walking and praying near the abortion clinic on Randleman Road. Walking there for people who were associated with Love Life, a pro-life organization, was deemed illegal and people were arrested.
Early in the COVID-19 response, the general public was told that wearing a mask by someone without COVID-19 was not recommended. Now people are being encouraged to wear masks in public and the city issued a press release on Monday, April 27 stating that on Wednesday, April 29, the city will begin providing “free face coverings to Greensboro residents.”
The free masks can be picked up at city hall at 300 W. Washington St. and the United Way of Greater Greensboro at 1500 Yanceyville St. from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. while supplies last.
The Greensboro City Council at its virtual meeting on April 21 discussed, and the majority supported, mandating that people wear masks when in public places.
What the city seems to be ignoring is that wearing a mask in public according to state law in North Carolina is illegal.
At this time it doesn’t appear that anyone in North Carolina has been arrested for wearing a mask in public due to the coronavirus, but they could be.
The North Carolina legislature, when it goes back into session on Tuesday, April 28, is supposed to consider a bill that would make it legal for people to wear masks in public for health concerns.
But unless and until that law is passed by the North Carolina state House, state Senate and signed by Gov. Roy Cooper, it is still illegal to wear a mask in public even if it is on the recommendation of the Greensboro City Council or some other governmental entity.
The North Carolina General Statutes that prohibit the wearing of mask in public are NCGS 14-12.7, 14-12.8 and 14-12.9.
They can be read here: https://www.ncleg.net/enactedlegislation/statutes/html/bychapter/chapter_14.html