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On August 10, 2011, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners voted to implement a new mask mandate for the county, effective beginning on August 13, 2021 at 5:00 pm.  This new mandate was driven by the rising number of new cases of COVID-19 caused by the Delta variant of the virus and follows several other North Carolina counties which have recently implemented new mask requirements.  The mandate applies to indoor public spaces in the county.

The Board of Health Order provides that “Individuals must wear Face Coverings when indoors in all businesses, establishments, and public places.”  The mandate is broad, requiring all persons to wear Face Coverings when at a public indoor venue.

The Order contains a number of exemptions for individuals who do not need to wear masks, including:

  • Individuals with a medical or behavioral condition or disability (including people who have trouble breathing, are unconscious or incapacitated, or are otherwise unable to put on or remove a Face Covering on their own)
  • Children under the age of five;
  • Individuals who are actively eating or drinking;
  • Any individual who is seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired in a way that requires the mouth to be visible;
  • Any individual giving a speech or performance for a broadcast, or to an audience, where they maintain a distance of at least 20 feet from the audience;
  • Individuals working at home or who are in a personal vehicle;
  • Any individual temporarily removing their Face Covering for identification purposes to secure government or medical services;
  • Any individual who would be at risk from wearing a Face Covering at work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulations or workplace safety guidelines;
  • Any individual who has found that their Face Covering is impeding visibility to operate equipment or a vehicle;
  • Children whose parents, guardians, or responsible persons have been unable to place the Face Covering safely on the child’s face; or
  • Any person who is alone in an enclosed space, such as a room, office or vehicle.

Additionally, gatherings for worship, religious purposes, funeral ceremonies, wedding ceremonies, and other activities constituting the exercise of First Amendment rights are exempt from all requirements of the new order.

First time violations of the order will be subject to an initial warning and repeat violations will be subject to increasing penalties ranging $50.00 to $1,500.00 per violation.

The order is currently set to expire on January 8, 2022, but may end earlier depending on rates of COVID-19 within the county.

Should you have any questions about Guilford County’s new mask mandate, please contact Denis Jacobson at djacobson@tuggleduggins.com or (336) 271-5242 or Daniel Stratton at dstratton@tuggleduggins.com or (336) 271-5240.

© 2021 Tuggle Duggins P.A. All Rights Reserved. The purpose of this bulletin is to provide a general summary of significant legal developments. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or a recommended course of action in any given situation. It is not intended to be, and should not be, relied upon by the recipient in making decisions of a legal nature. Moreover, information contained in this bulletin may have changed subsequent to its publication. This bulletin does not create an attorney-client relationship between Tuggle Duggins P.A. and the recipient. Therefore, please consult legal counsel before making any decisions or taking any action concerning the issues discussed herein.

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