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Mecklenburg County to require masks at indoor religious gatherings. What we know.

The board voted to mandate mask-wearing inside religious institutions in a 5-4 split-decision vote
Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 9:06 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (The Charlotte Observer) - People attending indoor services and events at religious institutions in Mecklenburg County will soon be required to wear masks, Mecklenburg County commissioners voted Wednesday.

The board voted to mandate mask-wearing inside religious institutions in a 5-4 split-decision vote, broadening the county’s mask mandate and creating disagreements about religious freedom among board members.

The rule will go into effect 10 days after it is published. Tyrone Wade, the county attorney, did not give a date for its publication.

“I think we’re going down a slippery slope,” said George Dunlap, the board chairman and District 3 representative.

Leigh Altman, an at-large commissioner, said it is “equal and fair treatment” to include all indoor, in-person gatherings in the mask mandate, even if they are religious. Altman made the motion to include religious gatherings in the county’s mask mandate.

“We should protect people wherever they are, including when they are gathering as a faith community,” Altman said.

Altman added there have been deaths in Mecklenburg County caused by coronavirus transmission at religious gatherings.

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