On March 14, 2020, Governor Cooper issued an Executive Order pertaining to the Coronavirus and its impact on North Carolina. The Order prohibited mass gatherings of 100 individuals or more in the same location and closed K-12 public schools pursuant to the Emergency Management Act. Violations of this provision may be punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor.
At his press briefing this afternoon, the Governor announced that he was reducing the number of individuals at a mass gathering from 100 to 50. His new directive is aimed at taking additional steps to minimize the risks associated with the spread of the virus by encouraging North Carolinians to heed warnings not to congregate in large gatherings. Limiting public gatherings to 50 is consistent with the current recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In discussions with many of you last week, I understand that you already lowered this threshold to 50 or even less in some cases. I’ve also noted the many ways that you are collaborating with each other in your communities to issue public statements concerning the restrictions on public gatherings. All of these efforts are critically important in assuring the safety and well-being of funeral home staff as well as guests and family in attendance at funeral services, visitations, memorial services and committals.
Please make all necessary effort to assure family members of the critical need for social distancing and limits on public gatherings as a way to contain the spread of COVID-19. That’s a primary reason that Governor Cooper has extended retail and business closures to include gyms, theaters, hair salons and the like. Most public health officials on national media outlets are consistent in their view that the spread of the virus has not peaked, and they are not certain as to a time frame for the numbers to hit a particular threshold before we see fewer positive cases, infections and deaths.