MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Masking up once again, that’s what health leaders are recommending county-wide in Mecklenburg County.
Commissioners will vote on the mask mandate at a special meeting this Wednesday, Aug. 18, at 3 p.m.
Mecklenburg County Manager Dena R. Diorio said it’s a recommendation and the county is adopting a public health rule. County commissioners will take the actual vote this week.
But Huntersville Mayor John Aneralla said Mecklenburg County does not have the authority to do this.
The mask mandate is recommended for public indoor spaces in Mecklenburg County. Business owners would be responsible for enforcing it. If someone refused to wear a face mask, the business owner can call CMPD and have the person arrested for trespassing.
Diorio said they’re also looking at possible civil penalties if people don’t comply.
“We know that COVID is here to stay, we have got to manage it, vaccine and masks are going to help us manage this as we move into the winter and back to the spring again,” Diorio said.
If passed, the mask mandate would go into effect one week from Wednesday county-wide, but in the meantime, the county manager said the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County plan to sign a proclamation to make the mandate effective starting this Wednesday.
Diorio said other towns could hop on board and sign a similar proclamation in the interim.
As of Monday, Aug. 16, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reports that there have been at least 127,608 positive cases in Mecklenburg County and 1,005 COVID-related deaths since the start of the pandemic. NCDHHS reports 55% of Mecklenburg County’s population has had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 50% are fully-vaccinated.