A Grim Warning From Local Health Officials As COVID Metrics Continue Heading In The Wrong Direction

CHARLOTTE, NC. — Mecklenburg County Health Director Gibbie Harris says COVID cases are increasing significantly. In part, from the Thanksgiving holiday. WCCB Charlotte’s Alexandra Elich talked with Harris for more than a half hour. She reiterated several times, people should not travel or gather for the Christmas holiday.

“This is one year in all of our lives. It’s one year that we have to sacrifice a little bit because of what’s going on in our community and if we sacrifice some this year with the holidays then we’re more likely to have everyone with us next year,” says Harris.

Governor Roy Cooper’s modified statewide stay-at-home order goes into effect on Friday. It requires people to stay at home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. On-site alcohol consumption must end by 9 and businesses must close by 10. Harris is glad the Governor made a move.

“I was pleased to see him do something. My concern, my biggest concern is with our numbers as high as they are. It would’ve been good if we could’ve done something earlier to try to prevent some of this from happening. But here’s where we are right now.”

CMPD will be enforcing the Governor’s order. Officers can give citations for violation of the curfew, But CMPD says they will give verbal warnings first.

“We will continue to operate on a complaint driven basis primarily. We won’t be using this order, this portion or the order, as a sole means for a stop in traffic or to set up checkpoints,” says Deputy Chief Jeff Estes.

Harris says the community needs to follow the rules, so we can avoid more restrictions and businesses closing down.

“I don’t think anything is off the table at this point, in terms of restrictions. We really don’t wanna go there. But a lot of that depends on our community,” says Harris.