Authorities Stress Social Distancing as Complaints Top 1400

CHARLOTTE, NC – As many people throughout Charlotte and North Carolina hunker down in their homes, some are ignoring the orders and violating the laws.

Over the weekend, a game of volleyball in Romare Bearden Park. In a South Charlotte neighborhood, a game of basketball.

“Our role is to enforce, and this weekend we did have an increase in those efforts,” said CMPD Chief Kerr Putney.

Since the stay-at-home order was issued, CMPD has received more than 1400 complaints of people violating the law. 

“We’re going to be just as passionate about enforcing the law to ensure our city is safe,” said Putney.

Putney says they are investigating complaints, but not actively stopping people to determine they’re business. 

“We know when people aren’t coming into contact with each other, it lowers the chance that they will either catch or pass on the virus,” said State Health Director Dr. Mandy Cohen.

Cohen says people willing violating the state’s order are damaging the effort to curb the impact of COVID19. 

“The social distancing policies that we have in place in North Carolina will help lower the likely hood that we’ll overload our healthcare system. That’s good news,” said Cohen.

Data from a team of North Carolina health experts show the probability of hospital space shortages drops below 20 percent if social distancing measures are kept in place beyond April 29th. 

Conversely, there is a nearly 60 percent chance of exceeding hospital capacity by June if the stay at home order and social distancing policies are lifted. 

“Social distancing flattens the curve so that fewer people get sick at the same time,” said Cohen.

Businesses are limiting the number of people allowed in stores at a time. Mecklenburg county locked up tennis courts and put zip ties on basketball hoops. 

Still, physical distancing detractors continue. 

“Jesus loves these moves and their babies,” said Daniel Parks.

He is part of a group of protesters who gathered outside of a charlotte planned parenthood location. 

Twelve people were cited, eight of those were arrested over the weekend for not adhering to local and state social distancing orders. 

On Monday, changes were made. 

“As you can see on the pavement here, we have our social distancing marks. We’re keeping our social distance and abiding by CDC guidelines,” said Parks.

“To our community members who are refusing to comply with these orders, you should expect some additional restrictions potentially,” said Putney.

There have been questions raised that the orders may violate first amendment rights to free speech and assembly.

According to North Carolina State Senator Jeff Jackson, “ says in a statement,  “states have the federal constitutional authority to police their citizens, and that includes things like quarantines, curfews, and stay home orders.”