Mayor Schewel, Chair Jacobs Amend Durham City-County Stay-At-Home Order
Changes to Unified Order Focus on Face Coverings, Farmers Markets and Guidelines for Realtors.
Durham, N.C. – Durham City and County Governments made additional updates to the unified Durham Stay-At-Home Order on Friday, April 17, 2020. The combined order is for all residents in response to the community spread of COVID-19. Overall, officials agree that most people in our community are doing well at social distancing and staying home according to both local and national guidelines designed to reduce the spread of the deadly disease. According to Mayor Steve Schewel and Durham Board of County Commissioners Chair Wendy Jacobs, the intended purpose of this update is intended to focus on three specific areas: Wearing Face Coverings, Rules for Farmers Markets, and New Guidelines for Realtors.
In the amended City-County Stay-At-Home Order, the wearing of face coverings is noted in Provision D Social Distancing and Sanitation Requirements, item 10:
a) Requires people to wear a clean face covering any time they are or will be in contact with other people who are not household members in public or private spaces where it is not possible to maintain social distance such as grocery stories, pharmacies, business location and public transit. While wearing the face covering, it is essential to still maintain social distance insofar as possible since social distancing is the best defense against the spread of Coronavirus.
While face coverings are required, no one will be removed from or denied entry to public transit for failure to wear a face covering. A face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. It can be secured to the head with ties or snaps or wrapped around the lower face. It can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk or linens. 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.
Implementation of the rules governing face coverings will become effective on Monday, April 20 at midnight.
“It’s very important that everyone wears a mask, or some sort of facial covering, when out in public, but especially in places where social distancing is difficult,” said Durham Mayor Steve Schewel. “While it doesn’t take the place of social distancing, wearing facial covering certainly plays a big part in reducing the spread of the virus.”
The updated order includes specific rules to support farmers markets and the ability to sell food and plants. Click here for a link to “Guidelines for Farmer’s Markets to Operate During the Stay at Home Order.” The rules detail market set up, use of hand washing stations, operation, closing and enforcement.
Finally, the Order provides updated information by which realtors are to operate during this period. Open houses and in-person showings of occupied homes are prohibited. In-person showings of vacant houses for sale or for rent are permitted under the following conditions:
- The buyer’s agent cannot enter the home with the prospective buyer(s); however, the agent can talk to the buyer during the showing from outside the home using cell phones and a video service;
- Only one person can enter a home at a time for a showing. However, two people can enter at the same time if they have been socially distancing together;
- There can be only one showing of the home during any calendar day;
- Anyone entering a vacant home for a showing must wear a mask and gloves and must not touch surfaces inside the home to the greatest extent possible. Lights must be turned on and interior door opened prior to entry of the prospective buyer. The buyer’s agent must provide hand sanitizer or sanitized wipes before and after entering the vacant home;
- Anyone entering a home must assert, to the best of their knowledge, they are not currently ill with a cold or flu; do not have a fever, persistent cough, shortness of breath, or exhibit other COVID-19 symptoms; have not been in contact with a person with COVID-19; and will adhere to and follow all precautions required for viewing the property at all times.
Chair Wendy Jacobs said, “We recognize the importance of keeping our economy functioning and access to necessities such as food and housing. Balancing public health and safety with these basic needs is why we have included revisions to farmers markets and real estate in response so essential activities can safely continue.” She went on to urge residents to work together to get through this pandemic together: “Stay Home. Stay Safe. Save Lives.”
The rules governing farmers markets and real estate will become effective on Friday, April 17, at 5 p.m.