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Durham Officials Again Amend Current Safer-At-Home Order

Several rules are updated in sections of the merged Safer-At-Home Order

Post Date:07/09/2020

DURHAM, N.C. – Officials of Durham County and the City of Durham today announced an update to the Safer-At- Home Order first issued on May 28, 2020.  This amendment, to go into effect at 5 p.m. July 9, 2020, makes additional changes in several major areas.


The definition of mass gatherings now will align with what is contained in the Governor’s Executive Orders: a limit of 10 persons for indoor gatherings and 25 for outdoors.


Employer screenings noted in the order will now include the additional COVID-19 symptoms identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recognized symptoms now include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea.


The Order maintains Durham’s more stringent mask requirements which state  “persons in the City and County of Durham are required 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.”


Businesses are required to post signage advising people of the need to wear a mask.  Specifically the Order reads, “All businesses shall have prominently displayed at their entrance a sign, clearly legible at a distance of at least fifteen (15) feet, advising those who enter of the requirement to wear a face covering while on their premises.”


Some standards for skilled nursing facilities have been increased over the Governor’s Executive Order and includes an expanded list of symptoms to screen employees and new admittees, monitoring new admittees for fourteen days, along with a lower definition of what constitutes a reportable cluster. It is also recommended that other long-term care facilities comply with the standards as well.


As Durham moves closer to the reopening of City and County government services, which may include holding in-person meetings by the elected bodies again, the public is advised that the City and County will consult with the Durham County Department of Public Health and place limits on attendance and participation as necessary to reduce the risk of transmission.


In the final update, the authorization of the Director of Planning has been expanded to suspend certain provisions of the Unified Development Ordinance in order to facilitate site plans and temporary use permits related to COVID-19 response and business recovery.  During this time local universities have been granted some leeway to house additional students due to the cancellation of study abroad programs.


Chair of the Durham Board of County Commissioner Wendy Jacobs said, “This amended order requires businesses to post signage at their entrances requiring face coverings. We plan a number of supports to businesses to do that including well-designed signage in English and Spanish that we will be making available online for establishments to print and post”.  She continued, “We are also planning to print 1,000 of these signs and distribute them across the County along with a starter kit of disposable face masks that businesses can pass out, and offer helpful guidance on how to engage in conversations with people not wearing face coverings.”



Durham Mayor Steve Schewel added, “This week we are launching a major new campaign to support Durham's recovery and renewal. The ‘Back on the Bull’ campaign, developed in partnership with marketing agency McKinney and Duke's Center for Advanced Hindsight, offers an evidence-based planning checklist for Durham business owners to indicate safety measures they have adopted to reduce risk for staff and customers." The checklist is available now in English and Spanish at Once the checklist is completed, a customized PDF poster will automatically be produced for business owners to display, communicating the steps they have committed to take to keep their employees and customers safe.


Additionally, Durham has developed a new website in partnership with web designer Thoughtbot to help households and businesses purchase face coverings from local producers. To learn more, visit


Residents and visitors of Durham are reminded that this Order continues the Safer-At-Home standard, and strongly encourages those at a high risk of infection to only travel for essential purposes. In addition, the wearing of face coverings is still required any time people are in public. All other rules in Durham’s Order remain.


The amended Order will continue in effect until it is amended or rescinded.


For additional information please visit:


To view the amended Durham Safer-at-Home Order go here:


To view Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 141 go here: