By Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice on May 15, 2021
In the wake of Governor Roy Cooper’s May 14 Order lifting the state’s indoor mask mandate, Dare County Manager Bobby Outten told the Voice that the county has made “a modification to its State of Emergency that tracks with the governor’s order.” That order not only ended the indoor mask requirement for most situations, it also cancelled mass gathering and social distancing requirements effective immediately.
Outten added that the county’s updated State of Emergency would be posted to the Dare County website www.darenc.com as soon as it is signed by Board of Commissioners Chair Bob Woodard.
Meanwhile, Kill Devil Hills has issued a new Executive Order designed to clarify any confusion about whether there will now be new COVID rules for restaurants in the town.
The county’s decision, as well as the May 14 Order signed by Kill Devil Hills Mayor Ben Sproul, are likely the first of a number of guidelines and clarifications to be issued by local governments and businesses as they respond to the Cooper announcement — one that seemed to take some by surprise. One local restaurant has already posted an item asking those who are not fully vaccinated to wear their masks inside the establishment.
In making his announcement yesterday, Cooper asked residents to “Please be responsible, wear a mask until you get vaccinated.” But in essence, those who have not been vaccinated are now on the honor system when it comes to wearing masks.
The Kill Devil Hills Order, as explained by Sproul, allows restaurants to continue with outdoor dining as long as there is no net increase in the number of allowed seats.
“Many owners, managers, employees and customers of our local restaurants are still unvaccinated and have expressed interest in maintaining outdoor dining options in the interest of public health and supporting our food service sector hit so hard by the pandemic,” Sproul explained.
One thing the new Order changes is that it eliminates food trucks operating in the town. The prohibition of food trucks was lifted by the town earlier in the pandemic when indoor dining was prohibited or limited. Sproul added that to his knowledge, there are no food trucks currently operating in Kill Devil Hills.
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