Mecklenburg County ‘Stay At Home’ order in effect until May 8, leaders look at re-opening businesses

Mecklenburg County ‘Stay At Home’ order in effect until May 8, leaders look at re-opening businesses
Mecklenburg County announced a roundtable of business and health leaders to discuss a "soft" re-opening of the economy. (Source: WBTV)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Mecklenburg County’s Stay at Home order remains in effect until May 8 after Gov. Roy Cooper extended North Carolina’s Stay at Home order.

On Wednesday night County Manager Dena Diorio originally said there wass not enough support from local mayors to extend the county’s order.

“Pleased @NC_Governor is keeping the Stay at Home Order in place until at least May 8. It ensures countywide consistency, keeps the curve flattening and makes our communities safer,” Diorio tweeted Thursday.

County Commissioner Mark Jerrell is now leading a roundtable of business and health leaders to discuss a soft re-opening of the economy.

Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Gibbie Harris cast doubt on whether a widespread re-opening was in the best interest for flattening the curve.

“Is it a recommended public health best practice to reduce or lift restrictions while we are having increases in hospitalizations and increases in cases?” Commissioner Susan Harden asked Harris.

“It is probably not a best public health practice to look at widely opening up in our community,” Harris said. “We still need social distancing and we need our stay-at-home order.”

Diorio originally asked county commissioners to authorize sending a letter to Governor Roy Cooper asking to extend the statewide stay-at-home order for two weeks. However, later in the meeting Diorio said that sending a letter was no longer needed with the governor set to make an announcement on the stay-at-home order Thursday.

County commissioners treaded a fine line between supporting re-opening of businesses while also trying to advocate for public health.

County Commissioner Trevor Fuller expressed skepticism about the movement to re-open businesses.

“This so-called movement has all the hallmarks of a political movement, a political rally, pushed by a million puppeteers who have now politicized our pandemic response,” Fuller said.

Commissioner Elain Powell said that commissioners wanted to re-open businesses but do so responsibly.

“Our number one priority is public health and safety but we understand the importance of the economy and so it’s not like we don’t care,” Powell said. “We just have to be really smart about how we go forward.”

Members of the business leaders roundtable include Charlotte City Manager Marcus Jones and CRVA CEO Tom Murray. While there are several health officials on the roundtable, Gibbie Harris is not listed among the members.

Mecklenburg County announced a roundtable of business and health leaders to discuss a "soft" re-opening of the economy.
Mecklenburg County announced a roundtable of business and health leaders to discuss a "soft" re-opening of the economy. (Source: Mecklenburg County)

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