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Updates to City-County Stay-At-Home Order Announced

Amended Order will extend to mid-May.

Post Date:04/24/2020 2:00 PM

DURHAM, N.C.Durham City and County Governments announced new updates to their combined Stay-At-Home Orders for all residents in response to COVID-19 pandemic. The action by Mayor Steve Schewel and Durham Board of County Commissioners Chair Wendy Jacobs, extends Durham’s Stay-At Home order until 11:59 p.m. on May 15, 2020.


Jacobs said, “Today we are extending our Durham Stay at Home Order. Thanks to the efforts of the Durham community we are flattening the curve, slowing the spread of the virus and not overwhelming our healthcare system. But we must continue to stay the course as our numbers of positive cases continue to rise. We are following the lead of our Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen and using the metrics of Testing, Tracing and Trends to help guide our pathway forward. We are working with partners like Duke University Health System to help build our capacity in each of these areas and we are forming teams of experts to work on re-opening and recovery plans.”


"I am happy that Durham residents have been adhering to the stay-at home order,” added Mayor Steve Schewel. “While we are all anxious for businesses to open and for us all to get back to some semblance of normal, there is still a critical need for Durham to stay the course until we have met the guidelines set by Governor Cooper for testing, tracing and trends. I hope the changes in this amendment for retail businesses will provide some relief.  However, with many Durham people still becoming ill due to Covid-19, it is essential that we move toward re-opening in a measured way. Together, we are saving lives.”


The amended order sets new and additional guidelines for several sections of the original order. Primarily they are in the areas of Social Distancing and Sanitation Requirements, updated Guidance for Realtors, expansion of curbside and delivery services to all retail businesses, along with guidance for screening employees who report for work.


Changes appear in Provision D of Social Distancing and Sanitation Requirements:


1. Employers shall conduct basic health screenings at the beginning of every employee’s shift, which shall include:

a) Discussion about any shortness of breath, coughing, or sore throat;

b) Employers are strongly encouraged, to the extent they are able, to also take the temperature of each employee.


If an employee is exhibiting any of the above listed symptoms or has a temperature above 100.4 degrees, the employer should provide the employee with a face mask (if the employee does not already have one), and require them to leave the workplace.  Any employee with COVID-19 symptoms should encouraged to call their primary care provider or the local health department.


Next, the Order provides enhanced “safety precautions applicable to all activities” by realtors during this period.

  1. Anyone entering a home pursuant to this section 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 doors opened prior to entry. Hand sanitizer or sanitized wipes must be provided to anyone entering a home before and after entering a home; and
  2. Anyone entering a home pursuant to this section must assert that 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; and have not been in contact with a person with COVID-19, and will adhere to and follow all precautions required for entering the property at all times.


Additionally, “there can only be three showings of a home during any calendar day.” Listing agents may enter vacant or occupied properties to take photographs and videos to facilitate virtual tours. Buyers’ agents may enter vacant properties to take photographs and/or videos.


Permitted post sale activities additionally include “Onsite preview by prospective buyer where property is under contract sight unseen.”


Finally, in Section 5, Alternate Offerings of Goods and Services, the update notes, “in compliance with social distancing and sanitation requirements… any business, including non-essential goods and services may operate by delivery (including curbside delivery), mail order, telephonic or virtual/web services only, with no in-store customer traffic.”


Jacobs concluded, “We are grateful to the entire Durham community for all of your incredible efforts to support feeding efforts, make handmade face coverings and check in on friends and neighbors. Durham has one of the lowest rates of spread in North Carolina and that is thanks to your efforts. Let’s keep this up. We can do this. We are all in this together.”