Catawba County law enforcement won’t be enforcing mask mandate, it’s not in the governor’s order

Enforcing, or not enforcing, NC's mask mandate

NEWTON, N.C. (WBTV) - As the North Carolina governor’s mandate on mask-wearing begins its first night, don’t look for police to patrol for people not wearing them.

“It would be very difficult for us to enforce,” said Newton Police Chief Vidal Sipe.

Besides, Sipe says, the governor’s order doesn’t put enforcement on the laps of law enforcement.

“It’s really on the businesses to make sure customers and employees are utilizing their masks,” he said.

Under the governor’s order, businesses can ask a customer to leave if they won’t wear a mask.

If they don’t, that’s when police can step in.

“And we can charge them with trespassing,” said Sipe.

Some business owners in Catawba County say they will go along with the order but not everyone.

Newton Mayor Charles Haupt says he won’t force people to wear masks in his drugstore and won’t be ordering them out.

If someone does not want to wear a mask, “that’s their problem, not mine,” said Haupt.

Some customers in downtown Newton on Friday feel differently.

Amanda Berry says she will wear her mask and hopes others will too.

“If everyone will do it, it’s got to help,” she said.

Officials say they’ll know in a few weeks if it does makes a difference.

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