CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Starting Tuesday, face coverings are required indoors in Mecklenburg County, regardless of a person’s vaccination status.
According to Mecklenburg County Public Health, the new rule mandates that face coverings be worn in all indoor public places, businesses or establishments within the county for anyone 5 years or older.
Health officials said the rule will be suspended if the county’s metrics show a decline in the positivity rate to 5% over 30 days where the community transmission rate is not in the high or substantial level defined by the CDC.
“We need to slow the viral transmission and community spread as much as possible,” said Public Health Director Gibbie Harris. “Face coverings slow the spread.”
Harris said she will recommend the mask rule to be suspended if the transmission in Mecklenburg County drops below the substantial level.
As of the latest data released on August 25, the positivity rate stood at 13.6% in Mecklenburg County. Only 52% of residents were fully vaccinated.
County health officials said these are the exceptions to the mandate:
Should not wear a face covering due to any medical or behavioral condition or disability (including, but not limited to, any person who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious or incapacitated, or is otherwise unable to put on or remove the face covering without assistance);
Is actively eating or drinking;
Is seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired in a way that requires the mouth to be visible;
Is temporarily removing their face coverings at work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulations or workplace safety guidelines;
Has found their face covering is impeding visibility to operate equipment or a vehicle.