Tightened COVID Restrictions Set to Take Effect in North Carolina on Wednesday

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – On Wednesday, tightened coronavirus restrictions go into effect across North Carolina.

The Governor’s updated executive order requires you to wear a face mask anytime you’re within six feet of someone you don’t live with.

It comes as millions prepare to travel for Thanksgiving.

There’s also continued demand for testing at sites across the area.

“If you are going to get tested, know that — that test is not perfect no matter what, some better than others,” says Atrium Health Dr. Katie Passaretti.

She warns a negative test doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.

“Testing is one piece of information, but certainly a negative test at a point and time doesn’t mean that tomorrow or the next day, or the day after that you couldn’t be positive,” she says.

The tighter restrictions go in place starting at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

“It closes all of the loopholes from the old orders, just about as far as the mask mandate goes,” explains CMPD Deputy Chief Jeff Estes.

He says officers won’t be actively looking for people not wearing masks or businesses overcapacity.

But CMPD will respond to complaints.

“We only will resort to this new authority to issue citations as a last-ditch measure when we can’t get cooperation any other way,” Estes says.

Over the past week, 7.8% of people tested in Mecklenburg County came back positive.

That’s an increase over the previous two weeks.

On average, 1 in 20 people who tested positive get hospitalized.

And so far, 433 people have died from COVID in Mecklenburg County.

The expanded executive order will be in place until December 11th.

It includes restrictions at restaurants, where you must wear a mask anytime you’re not actively eating or drinking.

And at the gym, where you have to wear a mask indoors, even while exercising.