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Indoor mask mandate begins across Mecklenburg County

The mandate will stay in place until Mecklenburg County drops to a 5 percent positivity rate.
Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 6:38 AM EDT
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MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Starting Tuesday, face masks will be required indoors in Mecklenburg County to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The mandate will stay in place until Mecklenburg County drops to a 5 percent positivity rate. Currently, the rate is at 13.7 percent, according to the most recent update from the county.

Related: Indoor mask mandate begins in Charlotte, countywide mandate approved for all remaining towns in Mecklenburg

When it comes to these mandates, there are always questions about how they will be enforced. WBTV’s news partners at The Charlotte Observer report county health director Gibbie Harris could issue an “abatement of imminent hazard order” to places that defy health protocols.

There are exceptions to the face-covering mandate. Face coverings do not need to be worn by someone who:

  • Is under 5 years of age;
  • Should not wear a face covering due to any medical or behavioral condition or disability (including, but not limited to, any person who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious or incapacitated, or is otherwise unable to put on or remove the face covering without assistance);
  • Is actively eating or drinking;
  • Is seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired in a way that requires the mouth to be visible;
  • Is 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 (the audience is still required to wear a Face Covering if indoors);
  • Is temporarily removing their face covering at work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulations or workplace safety guidelines;
  • Has found their face covering is impeding visibility to operate equipment or a vehicle.

Towns like Davidson and Matthews have passed their own mandates and they can decide how they want to enforce the county mandate.

Officials with most police departments in the county said they’re focusing on compliance through education.

However, if a person doesn’t comply and a business owner asks them to leave and they refuse, they could be charged with a misdemeanor.

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