Town of Boone Shares Additional Information on the Requirement to Wear a Face Covering in the Town

Published Friday, June 19, 2020 at 11:03 am

On Tuesday, June 16, 2020, the Boone Town Council voted to issue an updated State of Emergency Declaration requiring face coverings. The order requires coverings while indoors in any commercial business or Town office, in an area that is open to the general public for all customers, employees, and any other occupants or users of such area.

Included below is a list of frequently asked questions that the town provided answers for, including where face coverings must be worn, what kinds of face coverings are approved, and the exceptions for the face-covering order. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHEN DOES BOONE’S FACE MASK ORDER TAKE EFFECT?

Saturday, June 20th at 9:00 AM

WHO HAS TO WEAR A MASK UNDER BOONE’S ORDER?

While indoors in any commercial business or Town office, in an area that is open to the general public, all customers, employees, and any other occupants or users of such area shall wear a face covering.

WHAT IS CONSIDERED A COMMERCIAL BUSINESS?

“Commercial business” means any for-profit business open to the general public for the purchase of goods, entertainment or services, including by way of example but not limited to: retail stores (such as grocery stores, convenience stores, hardware stores, pharmacies, ABC stores, and vehicle dealerships), restaurants, banks, and service businesses. “Commercial business” shall not be deemed to include County or State properties or facilities of any kind.

WHERE ELSE ARE FACE COVERINGS REQUIRED?

All Town of Boone offices including Town Hall, Planning Department, Fire Department Stations, Police Department, Public Works Offices and Facilities, Jones House Community Center and the Boone ABC Store.

WHAT KIND OF FACE COVERING DO I HAVE TO WEAR?

“Face covering” means a material covering the nose and mouth for the purpose of ensuring the physical health or safety of the wearer or others. See Session Law 2020-3 s. 4.3.(a)) (amending G.S. § 14-12.11). A face covering can be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face. It can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk, or linen. A cloth face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels. Acceptable, reusable face covering options for the general public include: bandanas, neck gaiters, homemade face coverings, scarves, or tightly woven fabric such as cotton t-shirts and some types of towels.

WHAT IF I DON’T KNOW HOW TO MAKE A FACE MASK?

Almost any cloth item that can be tied around your mouth and nose can be considered a face covering. The order suggests using scarves, bandannas or neck gaiters if you don’t have a cloth mask. You can even cut up T-shirts, sweatshirts or towels to make a covering that can be tied around your head. Whatever you use for a face covering, it should be laundered between uses.

DO I HAVE TO WEAR A FACE MASK WHEN I GO FOR A WALK OR RUN?

You do not have to wear a face mask if you are exercising outdoors alone (or with someone from your household) as long as you are physically distanced from other people.

DO PEOPLE WHO WORK IN STORES HAVE TO WEAR FACE MASKS?

Yes. Anyone who works in a restaurant, grocery store, retail store, nail salon, hair salon, tattoo parlor or other personal care or grooming establishment in the Town of Boone is required to wear a face covering (covering the mouth and nose) while on duty.

WILL BUSINESSES REQUIRE ME TO WEAR A FACE MASK WHEN I GO INSIDE?

Many businesses already do, but the new order from the Town of Boone requires customers to wear face coverings while inside establishments.

DO KIDS HAVE TO WEAR A FACE MASK?

Children under 11 years old are not required to wear a face covering.

IF I HAVE TO WEAR A FACE MASK INSIDE A RESTAURANT, HOW CAN I EAT?

Take the mask off when eating or drinking, but wear it other times.

WHO IS EXEMPT FROM THE FACE MASK ORDER?

There are some exemptions to the order.

  1. to a person who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical or behavioral health condition, including but not limited to anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance;
  2. to children who are under (11) years of age;

iii. to a customer dining in a restaurant, while that customer is sitting at his or her table;

  1. to a law enforcement officer, or to any emergency responder, who reasonably deems it necessary to remove a face covering in the course of his or her duties;
  2. to a person complying with directions issued by a law enforcement officer as provided at Session Law 2020-3 s. 4.3.(a)) (amending G.S. § 14-12.11(c));
  3. to a person who reasonably deems it necessary to remove his or her face covering for safety reasons or in order to carry out his or her job duties.

HOW LONG IS BOONE’S FACE COVERING ORDER IN EFFECT?

The order is in effect until modified or rescinded.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T WEAR A FACE MASK?

A violation of this Section shall constitute a class 2 misdemeanor as provided at G.S. §166A-19.31(h); provided, however, that law enforcement officers shall first educate the offender as to the requirements set forth herein; upon a subsequent violation may issue a warning; and only in the event of repeat violations manifesting willful flouting or circumvention of this Declaration issue a criminal citation for violation of this Section; and further provided, that no criminal citation shall be issued for a violation of this Section until on or after 9:00 a.m. on July 11, 2020, so that residents, workers and visitors may be educated as to the requirements of this Amendment.

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