Meck County to Distribute Two Million Masks to Small Businesses as Mask Mandate Begins

CHARLOTTE, NC – With the click of the clock to 5 p.m. on Friday evening, the North Carolina mask mandate was in effect. 

“It’s important for all of us to wear our masks,” said Dr. Gibbie Harris, the Mecklenburg County Health Director. 

Mecklenburg County officials launched a program to spread the mask message through an awareness campaign online, on tv, and radio. 

“They’ll be targeting specific audiences that have been disproportionately affected by COVID including young adults, the Hispanic population, African Americans, the elderly, and LGBTQ communities,” said County Manager Dena Diorio. 

The ads, funded through a grant, will run for the next 12 weeks.

“It gets the message across that this is important. But it is dependent on the individuals in our community to do their part,” said Diorio.

According to the state executive order:

Face coverings are required indoors and outdoors when six feet of physical distancing is not possible. Employees and customers in businesses must wear masks. 

CMPD says it plans to educate rather than ticket non-compliance. 

“This order does not authorize individual enforcement of the mask or the face-covering mandate,” said Deputy Chief Jeff Estes.

He says CMPD can cite businesses but will do so only after they’ve spent time educating the business about the order. 

“If we are relying on law enforcement to make everyone adhere to a public health issue guidance like this, then we’ve already failed,” cautioned Estes.

The statewide face-covering requirement lasts until at least July 17th. County health officials hope it will minimize the spread and free up hospital space. 

“Right now, capacity is good. Right now, they’re able to meet the demand and that’s where we want to keep it,” said Harris. 

The county is also donating two million masks to small businesses to ensure their customers can be in compliance with the state order.