Modified State of Emergency Restrictions

Updated: May 21, 2020


Date: 05/07/2020


On April 23rd, Governor Roy Cooper extended the State’s Stay at Home Order through May 8th. To comply with his order and adhere to guidelines issued by the CDC and NCDHHS, the Town of North Topsail Beach extended its State of Emergency and restrictions. Since that time, Town officials have received many comments expressing a range of opinions. Your elected officials want to hear your concerns and take your comments into consideration. It is important to remember that for difficult decisions, there are strong opinions on both sides. The Town Board of Aldermen is following this matter closely, listening to your opinions, and striving to make well informed and balanced decisions with respect to the health, economic, and quality of life concerns presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On May 5th, Governor Cooper issued Executive Order No. 138, beginning Phase One of North Carolina’s reopen plan. The Order, among other things, modified and extended the State’s existing Stay at Home Order through 5:00 PM on May 22, 2020. In connection with issuing Executive Order No. 138, the Governor’s Office published a document entitled “Frequently Asked Question for Executive Order No. 138” for the purpose of providing “guidance for the implementation of” the Order. The following are excerpts from the FAQ:

Does this Order lift the Governor’s Stay at Home Order?

No, people should still stay at home, but it increases the number of reasons people are allowed to leave. All North Carolina residents should continue to stay at home except for the purposes outlined in this Order. Anyone who is feeling sick should stay home and should leave the house only to seek health care or for some other necessary reason.

What is different about Phase 1?

This Phase 1 Executive Order does the following:

  • Eliminates the distinction between essential and non-essential businesses;

  • Allows most retail businesses (with exceptions) that can comply with specific requirements to open at 50 percent capacity;

  • Allows people to leave home for non-essential goods or services;

  • Encourages state parks and trails that are closed to open;

  • Specifically allows people to gather outdoors while following the Recommendations to Promote Social Distancing and Reduce Transmission, and with up to ten people;

  • Opens childcare to working families; and

  • Encourages North Carolinians to wear cloth face coverings when outside the home in order to protect others.

Does this Executive Order allow for people to stay at hotels or other short-term vacation rentals?

Yes, hotels and short-term vacation rentals are allowed. However, individuals should practice Stay at Home, Recommendations to Promote Social Distancing and Reduce Transmission, and other COVID-19 mitigation measures at any short-term rental. Rental landlords should follow CDC and NCDHHS guidelines on cleaning hotels and rental units including using an EPA-approved disinfectant for COVID-19 between customers.

The Town’s Board of Aldermen called for an emergency meeting after the Governor’s May 5th press conference. That meeting occurred at 3:30 PM yesterday, May 6th. After much consideration for the Governor’s guidelines, the surrounding communities’ decisions, and Board discussion, Mayor McDermon decided to amend the Town’s State of Emergency as it relates to public parking and short-term rentals as follows:

  • North Topsail Beach public parking will reopen on Friday, May 8th at 7:00 AM.

  • The ban on short-term rentals will expire on Friday, May 8th at midnight, meaning rentals may resume on Saturday the 9th.

Protective measures continue to be strongly encouraged. Please review the following recommended guidelines:

  1. If you are visiting here on vacation, please realize, some items may not be in stock at local businesses during your stay. There are shortages just as you experience in your home town. Please plan ahead.

  2. Please consider wearing masks to decrease the chance of transmission. Most businesses on the island may require them for entry.

  3. Please maintain frequent hand-washing, especially before eating or after being in public spaces, and refrain from touching your face.

  4. Please limit interaction with anyone outside of your household. Please avoid gatherings of more than 10 people and maintain a distance of at least six feet.

  5. For high risk populations (aged 65+, immune condition or chronic illness), stay home as much as possible.

The sacrifices that your federal, state and local leaders have asked you to make are difficult, but they are not frivolous. In North Carolina, we have flattened the curve by following the recommended guidelines and our hospitals are not at capacity with COVID-19 cases.

We are and continue to be in this fight together. Look for more announcements on this matter by following our Sunshine List distribution.

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