Dare County to require face coverings in public spaces

By on June 19, 2020

Reversing a previous decision made only days ago, Dare County announced on the evening of Friday, June 19 that it would require the wearing of face coverings to combat the spread of Covid-19 in indoor and outdoor public spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained. The measure becomes effective June 21 and comes against the backdrop of a growing number of cases at both the local and state level.

The statement issued by the county indicated that “voluntary compliance with face covering recommendations has not been effective within Dare County.”

As noted in the statement. the requirement covers all areas of Dare County, including the towns of Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Manteo and the unincorporated areas of Dare County, including Hatteras Island and the Dare mainland.

“This decision comes following discussion by officials regarding the current state guidelines that strongly encourage face coverings. Voluntary compliance with face covering recommendations has not been effective within Dare County and local business owners have requested a stronger tool for compliance,” the bulletin read.

There are some exceptions to the updated mandate, including for those dining in a restaurant, for reasons related to medical or behavioral conditions, and for children under the age of 12. The complete list of exceptions is available here.

One week earlier, in a video released by the county, Dare County Commissioners Chairman Bob Woodard said that while county officials strongly recommended using face covering, they would not require it, primarily because of the difficulty in enforcing such a measure.

While the incidence of COVID-19 infection reported in Dare County is relatively low, at 44 cases, there has been a recent spike in those infections. The 44th case reported on June 18 was the 12th in a period of six days.

In social media and elsewhere, there has been considerable conversation about the number of people not wearing masks in Dare County businesses, stores and in public. A petition drive was also recently started to lobby the county to mandate social distancing and mask-wearing practices.

Cases of COVID-19 have also spiked at the state level, which has now reported just shy of 50,000 overall cases and is seeing record numbers of hospitalizations. Both Governor Roy Cooper and Health and Human Services Director Mandy Cohen have repeatedly called those trends “concerning” in recent days.

Sometime early next week, Cooper is expected to announce whether the state will move into a new phase of reopening. At the same time, he is expected to reveal plans to further control the spread of the disease.

The governor was non-committal during recent press briefings when asked if he would require the wearing of face coverings. But at the one on June 18, he did say that, “We need more people to wear masks. And we need to figure out the best way to do that…We’ve got to remove the politics from all of this.”






  • Ghost Crab

    Don’t worry about wearing a mask 😷 just carry a little Lysol just in case you need some.

    Saturday, Jun 20 @ 4:33 pm
  • Lulu

    Thank you Dare county. I applaud your decision. Best news I’ve heard all day.

    Saturday, Jun 20 @ 8:50 pm
  • Anna


    Saturday, Jun 20 @ 11:47 pm
  • anotherobxman

    Walmart turning people away that aren’t wearing a mask. Excellent! More businesses need to stop the anti-maskers at the door.

    Sunday, Jun 21 @ 11:40 am
  • John Boy Billy

    I find it intriguing that there is no mention of the number being tested (like at the beginning of this charade). It’s because it would defeat the narrative of interfering government control and forcing compliance. That power is like an addictive drug.

    It’s actually amusing, the death stares that I get when I am not wearing a mask from groups of people. Notice that I said ‘Groups’. If they are that scared, then stay the heck home.

    You can’t stay sheltered up forever and masks are ineffective. Time to let the herd immunity build up.

    Sunday, Jun 21 @ 12:45 pm
  • voidless1

    Reading a lot of these comments makes you realize why you have to tell people to behave. For those who choose to be inconsiderate of others , consider wearing your mask as practice for your next tier, with a ventilator.

    Sunday, Jun 21 @ 6:15 pm
  • CheetahOBX

    Beach all day….great!
    Harris Tweeter to get groceries…..not so great!
    More people wearing mask that ever…except for
    idiots that won’t….sad when their children follow
    their idiot parents….my son stated he did not
    understand people cannot/will not do the right thing….
    did have several northerns trying to get right up on us
    at the Bath House…..shoed them away….idiots!!!!

    Sunday, Jun 21 @ 10:03 pm
  • Kitty Hawker

    John Boy Billy you can check out the June 21st article in Business Insider on “Herd Immunity”. Sweden’s experiment is not working and their country is 22 times smaller than the US.

    Monday, Jun 22 @ 9:54 am
  • Seriously?!!

    OMG! I just got back home from T.W.’s Bait & Tackle in Nags Head. Hey! You guys are in gross violation of Dare County’s mandatory directorate about wearing face masks in your store. I assume that your staff members can read. I also assume that management is well versed in middle school reading abilities. Why then was no T.W.’s employee wearing a face mask??!! Why were there customers bumping into each other in the crowded store and no more than a very few wearing face masks? Have we found a previously unknown magical zone where COVID-19 doesn’t exist? Perhaps there is an intense decontamination zone that is provided by overpriced fishing tackle, tee shirts, and bait. It’s time to let the Department of Public Health, CDC, and WHO about this. Instead of our Covid numbers steadily going up…why they would most certainly plummet to Trump’s zero case dream number.

    Monday, Jun 22 @ 4:51 pm
  • Locally annoyed

    Anna you and others like you that have decided to make some bold statement of noncompliance are the reason cases here are on the rise and will continue to rise. You’re the reason elderly and immunocompromised people will wind up in the ICU or in the grave. Is your ego and pride worth lives?? You must not care for anyone this mess could kill. Sad you’re so selfish and lack compassion.

    Monday, Jun 22 @ 5:06 pm
  • Dethrol

    There you go again. Please cite the scientific proof that face coverings have any impact. Poor Anna, she’s now the reason cases are on the rise and she’s putting people in their graves. She must have personally traveled to each and every non-residents home county and infected them, then returned to the Outer Banks to affect more of the local population. And the number of cases is going up. Newsflash, the number of cases can only go up. Self-fulfilling prophecy for those who are comfortable wallowing in continued manufactured misery and restriction. Without knowing it and completely unintentionally, you are all actually confirming what epidemiologists already know. IT’S A VIRUS, and not a particularly dangerous one unless you are part of pretty well-defined group (s). We aren’t stopping it. We’ll learn to live with it, it will mutate into less potent strains, or a vaccine will be developed to help us cope.

    Tuesday, Jun 23 @ 11:50 am