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City of Burlington amends state of emergency to further stop spread of coronavirus, officials say

The city said the amended declaration will take effect at 7 p.m. on Wednesday and said the amendment is to further stop the spread of the coronavirus.

BURLINGTON, N.C. — The city of Burlington amended its local state of emergency, Monday.

A big change in the amendment is spelling out new rules for essential retailers. Mayor Ian Baltutis explained that since the first measures to limit travel and contact, many of his citizens have voiced concerns over crowds. 

"It almost looks like black Friday at some of these [essential] retailers," he said, "How packed the parking lots are and what that means is inside the stores is packed with people too."

The amended declaration takes effect at 7 p.m. Wednesday and is to further stop the spread of the coronavirus, according to the city of Burlington.

Per the city, the new restrictions included in section 4 of the amendment are:

  • Car washes in the city of Burlington remaining open and operating for exterior car washes only. Modifications to operations including no entry by employees into customer’s cars. Sanitizers being provided by the operator and readily available onsite in order to keep equipment clean.
  • The requiring of retail stores to follow the amended state of emergency by the city of Burlington, which includes cleaning all cart and handbasket handles before providing them to customers, providing hand sanitizer in the store, ensuring store employees are following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for hygiene and safety, providing store employees with leave time and flexible options if they feel ill.
  • The amendment also promotes social distancing inside retail stores through various ways such as implementing one-way aisles and posted signs to remind customers to social distance, as well as limiting the number of individuals in stores at one time.

Baltutis explained each retailer will use a particular formula based on the size of the store to determine the number of people they can legally have inside at once. 

"We've targeted any type of retailer larger than 7,500 square feet," he said.

The city of Burlington state of emergency is applicable within the jurisdiction of the city and is subject to enforcement by the Burlington Police Department.

The city said the amended declaration is necessary to slow the rate of the spread and is the least restrictive option based upon current evidence.

They also said the existing conditions and anticipated conditions pose a direct threat to the health and safety of residents, visitors and employees.

According to the city of Burlington, the state of emergency initially declared March 27 will continue to be in effect.

The amended declaration is to ensure the maximum amount of people practice social distancing.

You can find the entire version of the city of Burlington’s amendment here.

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FACTS NOT FEAR

Remember facts, not fear when talking about the coronavirus. You should take the same measures recommended by health leaders to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses. That means washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, and covering coughs and sneezes.

RELATED: Facts Not Fear | What you need to know about the COVID-19 outbreak

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You can also text keyword VIRUS to WFMY News 2 at 336-379-5775 to find out more information.