HILLSBOROUGH — A North Carolina county has set a cutoff for restaurant dining and alcohol sales in hopes, they claim, of limiting the spread of COVID-19.
Officials in Orange County, home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, announced in a news release Thursday that restaurants and private clubs will be closed for on-site consumption of food and beverages beginning Friday.
“We must be vigilant in practicing physical distancing and wearing masks. It is more important than ever that we look out for each other,” Rich said in a statement.
Citing an unspecified percentage of rising COVID-19 cases, the county amended its emergency declaration to provide new standards for the on-site consumption of food and beverages at restaurants, private clubs and other food-service establishments.
“Cases in Orange County have tripled since Memorial Day,” said Penny Rich, Chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners. “These additional measures will help protect our community by reducing group settings where the virus can easily spread. We must be vigilant in practicing physical distancing and wearing masks. It is more important than ever that we look out for each other.”
Among the changes that will go into effect at 5 p.m. on Friday, July 10:
Restaurants and private clubs will close to on-site consumption of food and beverages between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.; restaurants may continue drive through, delivery, and pick-up services after 10 p.m.
Restaurants, breweries, wine shops, private clubs, bars, and any other businesses or organizations that sell alcohol for on-site consumption may not sell alcohol between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Restaurants, private clubs, bars, and other food and beverage service businesses shall not allow sitting or standing at bars for food and beverage consumption and shall not allow patrons to touch shared surfaces such as bar counters or game equipment such as pool tables, darts, and pinball machines, etc. (restrooms excluded); and
All outdoor activities, gatherings, or events of more than 25 people are prohibited. Worship, religious and spiritual gatherings, funeral ceremonies, wedding ceremonies, and gatherings for health and safety, for work, to obtain goods, and to obtain government services are exempt.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.