While the state’s stay-at-home order will end at 5:00 p.m. as North Carolina enters phase 2 of Governor Cooper’s three-part reopening plan, Durham’s restrictions will stick around through the end of the month, Mayor Steve Schewel and Board of Commissioners chairwoman Wendy Jacobs announced Friday. 

Restaurants, personal care businesses, and pools will remain closed until June 1. In addition, while the state will exempt religious services from its limits on mass gatherings, Durham will continue to limit them to 10 people. The joint city-county order will also require residents to wear face coverings in public settings. 

However, amendments to the order will allow childcare centers and day and overnight camps to reopen, and permit realtors to accompany buyers into vacant properties. Restaurants and personal care businesses will be allowed to reopen at 8:00 a.m. on June 1. 

Durham County has reported 1,169 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and 43 deaths. 

Schewel and Jacobs said the rate of infection prompted their decision to keep several sections of their joint order in place as the rest of the state moved into phase 2.

“We have done a good job in Durham in keeping the virus at bay,” Schewel said. “But recently our cases have been growing at two times the rate of North Carolina as a whole, and our cumulative cases in Durham are now three times as great per capita as Wake County. For these reasons, it’s prudent for the city and county to move forward slowly to rescind our stay at home order.”

“Currently underway is a voluntary self-certification process for our restaurants, personal care salons, pools, and other businesses we hope to have open by June 1,” said Jacobs.

She said the newly formed Recovery and Renewal Task Force is developing a “gold standard” for reopening in partnership with industry leaders and public health experts.

“The self-certification process will promote public health and safety and a way for businesses to give confidence to their customers, clients, and employees that they are providing a safe place to work, shop, and receive service,” Jacobs said in a statement. “We want Durham to safely reopen and take important steps and careful steps to ensure that Durham can remain open.”   

The Durham order will maintain the mandate that directs residents to only leave their dwellings for specific purposes.

Contact staff writer Thomasi McDonald at tmcdonald@indyweek.com. 

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