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Town Manager Update June 30, 2020

Post Date:06/30/2020

The State of North Carolina made big news this past week as Governor Cooper hit the “pause” button on the re-opening plan, with the current Phase 2 restrictions extended three more weeks until July 17th per Executive Order 147. The Governor cited public health concerns as the reason for the extension, including increases in new virus infections and the number of people hospitalized. Some businesses are still closed or restricted during this time, and the North Carolina General Assembly has undertaken legislation to open a range of business operations and activities. Although Governor Cooper vetoed multiple bills, revised legislation has been sent back to the Governor for gyms and fitness centers. Although the fate of that bill remains uncertain at this time, the press is reporting that lawsuits have been filed by groups representing owners of gyms, bars, and other establishments. We will keep you posted on developments.

 The Governor’s Executive Order 147 went beyond the extension of current business and crowd-gathering restrictions – it implemented a new requirement for face coverings state-wide. Governor Cooper announced face coverings need to be worn "in public places, particularly when those locations are indoors or in other areas where physical distancing is not possible." There are multiple exceptions to the face covering rule, including if a person "has a medical or behavioral condition or disability and cannot wear a face covering, is under eleven (11) years of age, is actively eating or drinking, is strenuously exercising or swimming, is giving a speech" and other reasons. The State has issued a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to provide guidance on these new rules. 

In light of the State directive noted above, Dare County moved quickly to align local rules on face coverings with the State mandate in order to eliminate any confusion and to ensure consistency. The County continues to provide updated public health information, including a case dashboard, at its COVID-19 web page. 

 In the Town of Manteo, the Board of Commissioners will hold its regular meeting on July 1st at 6:30 p.m. From a policy perspective, the top item on the agenda is the consideration of a text amendment regarding boat lifts, and this topic has received attention at previous meetings and public hearings by the Planning & Zoning Board and the Board of Commissioners. Other items include discussion of a Town Common Advisory Task Force as well as an update on concrete actions being taken by the Town to promote the businesses and attractions in and around Manteo as we support the local economy and the jobs created by these organizations. Members of the public can join the meeting and participate in the public comment segment by calling +1-253-215-8782, +1-301-715-8592, or +1-346-248-7799 and then entering Meeting ID of 622-572-789. Click here for the full agenda and supporting materials. 

Under the category of Town Operations, all essential services continue to be delivered by Town staff. However, museums and playgrounds remain closed in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Orders. In observance of the 4th of July holiday, Town Hall and other administrative offices will be closed on Friday, July 3rd. There will be no changes to the residential solid waste pick-up schedule, and commercial solid waste will be done on Monday (June 29th) and Thursday (July 2nd). We wish everyone a happy and safe holiday!

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