How To “Survive” NC Executive Order #147 – Phase 2.5
As of Friday, June, 26h we are now in Phase 2.5 of the NC Reentry into “normal life” post COVID-19. One of the most shocking changes with this executive order is the mandate for all NC citizens to “mask up” when venturing outside of their homes. This mandate now requires you to wear a mask when visiting restaurants, retail stores, and any time you are outside when people are nearby – or does it?
This weekend I went to Target to pick up a few things for my home and also to test what I am about to tell you below. Target was a “sea” of mask-wearing shoppers – even small children were wearing them!!!! Have we gone completely insane! I am going to make a statement here that may (or may not) come as a shock – most people did not read the executive order and are just assuming that all businesses require masks and that “everyone” including children, must mask up ignorers to go into a place of business. This simply is not the case – as is clearly outlined in the 9-page executive order that I am sure you read (or did you?)
Is It Unlawful to Go Against the NC Mask Mandate?
Despite what you may have been told – this simply isn’t true. No state executive order forcing you to do anything – it’s a recommendation put out for citizens to follow. The mask mandate isn’t enforceable by local officials – i.e. the police are not going to cite or arrest you for not wearing a mask when outside. A recent article in Charlotte Observer titled County sheriffs near Charlotte call new NC mask mandate ‘unenforceable’ points out that law enforcement personnel are not authorized to criminally enforce the face-covering requirements of this Executive Order against individual workers, customers, or patrons.
Are You Aware of the Exemptions To NC Mask Mandate?
Reading through the order you will find on page 7, Section C lists ELEVEN (11) reasons you might be exempt from having to wear a face mask when in public or visiting a local business/retailer/salons/restaurant. The most notable are #1 and #2. If you have “any medical” condition – you are exempt. This is perhaps one of the broadest definitions of a medical condition you can find.
Technically a “hangnail” is a medical condition (diagnostic code is L60.8) which would legally make you exempt from wearing a mask. Reading further down on page 7 and you will see this phrase:
“Anyone who declines to wear a Face Covering for these reasons (any of the 11 exemptions) should not be required to produce documentation or any other proof of a condition.”
No proof of your medical exemption is required – simply a statement that you have a medical condition and you are exempt from wearing the mask!
The #2 exemption is if you are under the age of 11. IE children ARE NOT MANDATED to wear masks for out and about errands (restaurants, shops, salons, etc.). I find this an exemption all parents should be aware of – especially with how dangerous masks, in general, is for adults and children. PLEASE DO NOT PUT MAKS ON YOUR KIDS JUST BECAUSE YOU THINK THEY CAN’T GO INTO A STORE WITH YOU IF THEY DON’T!
Can You Wear Something Other Than A Mask?
YES! And in fact, I highly recommend if you want to wear something to protect yourself you consider using a plexiglass face shield – as these have been proven to be 98-99% effective in not only protecting you from someone else nasal splatter but also, they allow you to breathe freely and are acceptable substitutes to the mask requirement per the executive order:
“A face shield that covers the nose and mouth also meets the Face Covering requirements of this Executive Order.” Page 5, Section A
During my Target outing, I used my legal right to be exempt, stated I have a health condition that mask-wearing would worsen, showed them a copy of page 9 of the order, and was allowed to enter and shop mask free! Yes, everyone was staring me down – but NOTHING HAPPENED!
You can download a copy of your NC Order #147 exemptions to carry with you by visiting https://files.nc.gov/governor/documents/files/EO147-Phase-2- Extension.pdf (Take a screenshot of page 9 to have on your phone in case an undereducated employee demands you must mask up to enter a store)