On April 29, 2020, Gaston County Commissioners and Commission Chair Tracy Philbeck issued a proclamation “Gaston Promise” with the intent to lessen social distancing restrictions issued by Gaston County and the North Carolina Governor’s Office through Executive Orders 118, 120, 121, and 131.
Gaston Promise states the following restrictions will be lifted at 5:00 on April 29, 2020:
“The Gaston County Board of Commissioners supports the reopening of businesses and houses of worship throughout Gaston County as long as they adhere to strict social distancing practices, follow all cleaning and disinfection requirements, and abide by all maximum capacity restrictions required by local and state authorities. Capacity, as used here, is defined as the number of individuals below the local fire code threshold that can fit inside the establishment while still practicing strict social distancing. That is, as long as you do not violate local fire code thresholds and you ensure that individuals inside the establishment adhere to strict social distancing practices, you are in compliance as it relates to capacity.”
The citizens of the Town of Stanley are reminded that no order issued by the Gaston County Commission can be less restrictive than any Executive Order issued by the Governor of North Carolina during a State of Emergency. A State of Emergency was declared by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper on March 10, 2010 for the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Executive Order 118 established the limitations for the operation of restaurants and bars. Executive Order 120 limited mass gatherings and closed non-essential businesses not specifically listed in the order necessary to the operation of the state. Executive Order 121 established a STAY AT HOME order for all unnecessary activity outside one’s place of residence and RESTRICTED MASS GATHERINGS TO 10 PEOPLE OR LESS.
Executive Order 131 further restricted the operation of essential business and specifically retail establishments to include any business in which customers enter to purchase goods or services to emergency maximum occupancy limited to 20% of the stated fire capacity or 5 (five) customers for every 1000 (one thousand) square feet of the retail establishments total square footage. Must provide enough staff to enforce the Emergency Maximum Occupancy and post the Emergency Maximum Occupancy in a conspicuous space. Regulations were also provided regarding social distancing markings, cleaning and disinfection, impact on businesses to remain open, no new authority to remain open. The order further states that no local government order can supersede or be less restrictive than any Governor’s Executive Order.
Therefore, the Gaston Promise order issued on April 28, 2020 by the Gaston County Commission does not follow the regulations set forth in Governor’s Executive Orders 118, 20, 121 and 131. Any retail establishment wishing to re-open should comply with the regulations set forth in the Governor’s Executive Orders 118, 120, 121 and 131.
For complete orders go to https://www.nc.gov/covid-19/covid-19-executive-orders.