Local News

Even with 60,000 COVID-19 cases, enforcing mask mandate is challenging

Posted June 27, 2020 6:39 p.m. EDT
Updated June 28, 2020 7:08 p.m. EDT

— Officials have confirmed that North Carolina has over 60,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 statewide. With more than 1,700 cases newly confirmed in the past 24 hours, and a total of 1,353 deaths and 888 people hospitalized, a statewide mask requirement started Friday night to try and limit how high those numbers will go.

But some people are still choosing not to wear them.

For multiple weekends, crowds have flocked – without masks or social distancing – to the businesses around Glenwood South. The business owners there have faced their share of challenges with trying to encourage customers to follow the mandate.

If you walk through Glenwood South, you’ll see signs reminding people to keep their distance and that masks are required before walking in any of this businesses.

Some owners are even handing masks out to make sure customers follow the state's mandate.

Signs that read ‘Masks Are Required’ are posted at the Dogwood Bar and Eatery.

General Manager David Ballance said the business will only allow people inside who are wearing masks. Anyone who refuses to wear masks because of religious or medical reasons can enter, but must sign a waiver.

"We want to be in compliance with the city and the governor. If you’re part of a protected group, we have you sign a waiver, and it makes sure all of our bases are covered," he said.

Ballance said the biggest challenges is not being able to manage the long lines in the streets, where often times people don’t wear a mask.

WRAL News has reached out to Raleigh and Durham Police departments to see if any citations have been issued to businesses, and will report when more information is released.

Free masks for hardest-hit communities

For some locals without masks, free masks will be available soon. Wake County is teaming up with Raleigh and Wake Med Hospital to provide free masks for those in Southeast Raleigh.

The pilot program plans to distribute 30,000 masks to the areas hit hardest by the virus.

Anyone living in the 27610 zip code will be able to grab a mask for free.

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