Charlotte indoor mask mandate begins Wednesday as board will vote on whether to make it county-wide


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46) – It’s the return of the masks in the Queen City.

Monday, Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles and Mecklenburg County issued a new mask mandate for the city and unincorporated parts of the county.

That mandate takes effect Wednesday. That same day, the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners will vote on a county-wide mandate.

Mecklenburg County Public Health recommending county-wide mask mandate

The earliest that mandate can take effect is August 25.

“The numbers have risen high enough, fast enough that we felt we had to get the community’s attention by putting in a mandate,” said Health Director Gibbie Harris.

The mandate will require businesses to enforce mask-wearing indoors. Outdoor events will not require masks.

“I just don’t think it’s gonna help much,” said Matt Wohlfarth, owner of the Dilworth Neighborhood Grille. “There’s 30-35% of the population that’s pretty adamant that they’re not gonna get vaccinated. So until they change their mind, for whatever reason, I just don’t know what good this is gonna do.”

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Instead, Wohlfarth is concerned about the harm it could cause to businesses who now have to police mask-wearing just a few months after dropping requirements.

“There’s going to be a lot of people just fighting each other, in the restaurant,” Wohlfarth said.

Meanwhile, some businesses are getting out ahead of the city mandate.

At Central Coffee Company in South End, the owner has already reinstated a mask requirement for staff and customers.

“We felt as an obligation for us to not only keep our staff safe but everyone else safe who comes in here,” said owner Jimmy Kleto.

County leaders say they will consider dropping the mask mandate when Mecklenburg County is no longer in the CDC’s red zone of high COVID transmission.


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