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City of Greensboro issues emergency proclamation requiring face masks in public, officials say

The city of Greensboro said the new requirement is in response to COVID-19 and in accordance with the CDC and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The city of Greensboro announced Monday it will require people to wear face masks while out in public within city limits starting Tuesday at 5 p.m.

The city said Mayor Nancy Vaughan issued an emergency proclamation requiring face coverings to be worn anytime a person will be in contact with other people in public or private spaces where it is not possible to maintain proper social distancing.

“These places include grocery stores, pharmacies, business locations, parking lots, sidewalks, and public transit,” the city said in a press release.

Officials said the new requirement is in response to COVID-19 and in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

“Wearing a mask or face covering in public is a simple gesture of kindness that helps prevent the spread of the coronavirus and it’s important to remember that wearing a mask does not hurt the economy. It helps,” Vaughan said. “We know that a significant portion of people with coronavirus are asymptomatic and can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This means the virus can spread between people speaking, coughing or sneezing.”

Vaughan said by wearing a mask, you are doing your part to help keep your family, neighbors and community safe.

The city defined a face covering as a material that covers the nose and mouth and can be secured with ties or straps, or simply wrapped around the lower face. It can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk, or linen.

“A cloth face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, t-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels,” the city said.

Officials said acceptable, reusable face covering options for the general public include: 

  • bandanas
  • neck gaiters
  • homemade face coverings
  • scarves
  • tightly woven fabric such as cotton t-shirts and certain types of towels

The city said you are not required to wear a face mask while exercising alone outdoors, or while walking or exercising with other people from the same household, if social distance from others is maintained.

City officials said all restaurant, personal care, grooming, tattoo, and retail employees and staff are to wear a face covering while on duty and recommends all businesses require customers to wear a face covering while inside a business.

The city of Greensboro said face coverings are not required:

  • For those who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical or behavioral condition.
  • For children under 12-years-old.
  • For restaurant patrons while they are dining.
  • In private, individual offices.
  • When complying with directions of law enforcement officers.
  • In settings where it is not practical or feasible to wear a face covering, including when obtaining or rendering goods or services, such as the receipt of dental services or while swimming.
  • While with members of a family or the same household.
  • For people whose religious beliefs prevent them from wearing a face covering.


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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.


It is important to make sure the information you are getting about the coronavirus is coming directly from reliable sources like the CDC and NCDHHS. Be careful not to spread misinformation about coronavirus on social media. 

For more information visit the CDC OR NCDHHS


The state also has a special hotline set up where you can call 866-462-3821 for more information on the coronavirus. You can also submit questions online at ncpoisoncontrol.org or select chat to talk with someone about the virus.

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

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