Graham County sheriff says he won’t enforce restaurant dine-in restrictions

Graham County Sheriff Joseph Jones. Image via Graham County Sheriff's Dept., May 2020

RALEIGH — The sheriff of Graham County has announced that his office will not be enforcing Gov. Roy Cooper’s restrictions on dine-in restaurant service contained in his executive orders and phase one plan.

Sheriff Joseph Jones made the announcement on the department’s Facebook page this morning which included an image of a letter being sent to the “Graham County Director of Public Health, County Manager, and other officials.”

“I have made the decision NOT to enforce the order prohibiting local eateries and restaurants from having dine-in customers,” the letter says, which goes on to say this is being allowed so long as safe practices are used such as screening staff, social distancing, handwashing and the use of PPE.

Graham County only has two positive cases of COVID-19 and no deaths, according to the NC Department of Health and Human Services data dashboard.

On Monday, May 18, Carrol Mitchem was cited for defying Cooper’s phase one order by opening the dining area of his family-owned restaurant, Mitchem’s Kitchen in Vale, North Carolina.

After reports from the public that the establishment was using the dining room, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office cited Mitchem for violation of the governor’s executive order 138.

Read the full letter from Graham Sheriff Jones:


About A.P. Dillon 1257 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_