NC Enters Phase 1 of Reopening; Chatham County Develops Workplace Guidance
PITTSBORO, NC— At 5:00 p.m. on May 8, 2020, Phase One of reopening will take effect across North Carolina. During Phase One, the Stay at Home Order remains in effect and most businesses are required to follow the same or similar guidelines as before. For example, barbershops, theaters and gyms remain closed while restaurants can operate take-out and delivery services only. Details about Phase One, including frequently asked questions and a side-by-side comparison to the previous Stay at Home Order guidelines, can be found at www.chathamnc.org/coronavirus.
Chatham County residents are still strongly advised to avoid coming into contact with others outside of their households and continue to take safety precautions if they do go out in public. “The danger is not behind us. In fact, we continue to see cases of COVID-19, including Chatham County residents who have become seriously ill,” said Chatham County Public Health Director Layton Long. “We ask residents to remain vigilant and continue to take the same measures they have been to reduce their risk of infection: Stay at home, avoid gathering with others outside of your household, wear a face covering if you go out in public, and wash your hands regularly.”
To assist businesses as they plan to reopen and operate during the COVID-19 pandemic, Chatham County has created Reopening Your Business: A Guide for Safely Opening and Operating Your Business. The guide can be found at the Chatham County Coronavirus web page provided above, under Employer FAQs. It includes recommendations specific to business type from nail salons and restaurants to dentist offices and childcare facilities. Several Chatham County agencies developed the guide based on guidance from the CDC and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. The collaboration includes the Public Health Department, Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau, in partnership with Orange County organizations. It will be continually updated to reflect the latest guidance.
Since early in the pandemic, the Chatham County Public Health Department has maintained regular contact with employers to share guidance to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Chatham County. “For months, our team has worked tirelessly to answer questions from and promote best practices among essential employers and settings where COVID-19 is known to have a greater potential impact, including long-term care facilities, food processing plants, manufacturing facilities and childcare facilities. I am incredibly proud of their hard work and dedication,” added Long.