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CFIC continues to monitor North and South Carolina’s government response as well as federal and local responses as they pertain to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the grocery industry.

State of North Carolina Executive Orders:

NC Executive Order 116, Issued March 10
Declaration of State of Emergency; Waives Trucking Requirements

NC Executive Order 119, Issued March 20
Facilitates critical motor vehicle operations; expands access to health care

NC Executive Order 133, Issued April 17
Extends Certain Transportation-Related Provisions in Previous Executive Orders

NC Executive Order 134, Issued April 21
Allows furloughed workers to be eligible for unemployment benefits

NC Executive Order 164, Issued September 14
Extends certain transportation-related provisions in Executive Orders 116 and 119.

NC Executive Order 190, Issued January 27
Extends the allowance of mixed beverages to go through Wednesday, March 31 at 5:00 pm.

NC Executive Order 204, Issued March 23
Eases some restrictions; remains in effect until March 26 at 5:00 pm.

Notable Retail Changes:

  • Lower risk settings that can now open up to full capacity include: retail shopping businesses, child care, camps, outdoor playgrounds, personal care businesses, and museums.
  • Medium risk settings that are now open up to full capacity outdoor and up to 75 percent indoor include restaurants, breweries, wineries, gyms, pools and amusement parks.
  • Higher risk settings that can open up to 50 percent capacity include stadiums and arenas, conference spaces, reception spaces, movie theaters, gaming, and bars.
  • Mass gathering limit increased to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors (from 25 and 50).

Remaining Requirements:

  • Retail businesses are required to have all employees and guests wear face coverings
  • Mark six feet of spacing in lines at point of sale and other high-traffic areas
  • Follow the core signage, screening and sanitation requirements as defined in EO 204, Appendix A (see sidebar) including occupancy limit signs. We are working to get this clarified, but until that time we encourage you to continue to post this sign.
  • The allowance for mixed beverages to-go will continue through March 31

State of South Carolina Executive Orders:

SC Executive Order 2021-12, Issued March 5
Modifies several requirements contained in Executive Order 2021-11: removes the requirement for face coverings to be worn in restaurants and now recommends face coverings be required for employees and patrons; removes the urging for local governments to issue their own face covering requirements. Changes are outlined below:

Section 2:

  • Urges all individuals to wear face coverings when social distancing cannot be maintained

Section 3:

  • Restaurants should consider the following recommendations:
    • Tables should be spaced six feet apart, to the extent possible;
    • Limit seating at each table to 8 customers, excluding families or members of the same household;
    • Adopt and enforce a process for maintaining at least 6 feet between parties while waiting to be seated;
    • Encourage no standing or congregating in bar area. Remove or arrange bar stools to maintain 6 feet between parties;
    • Remove condiments from tables and, when requested, provide single-use, if possible, or sanitize between use;
    • Not place utensils on table until after patron is seated and use disposable, if possible;
    • Use disposable paper menus, if possible, or sanitize in between use;
    • Minimize, modify, or discontinue services that allow customers and patrons to fill or refill their own beverage cups; and
    • Only use kiosks or touch screens for patrons if sanitized between each use and encourage touchless.
    • Must comply with sanitation guidelines as provided by CDC, DHEC and others
    • Must require all employees, customers, and others to wear face coverings except while eating or drinking
    • Must post signs informing the public no entry is allowed if experiencing symptoms or received a positive test within 14 days
    • Conduct an employee survey and screening process, including taking temperature, before each shift
    • Immediately excuse and exclude employee who has symptoms, has tested positive or who has been exposed to someone who has tested positive with the past 14 days
    • Encourage and require employees who are sick, have symptoms, tested positive or have been around someone who has tested positive to stay home
    • Provide sanitizing solutions to clean tables, chairs and check presenters after each use
    • Provide cleaning stations or hand sanitizer at each entry point
    • Discontinue self-service buffets or food stations or have one employee dispense food
    • Sanitize all doorknobs and other frequently touched surfaces as frequently as possible between guests

Section 4:

  • Encourages events with mass gatherings to consider, incorporate and adhere to the previously required restrictions.
  • Examples of venues: concerts, theaters, stadiums, gyms, nightclubs, racetracks, among others
  • Recommends Limiting Occupancy to 50% or 250 people, whichever is less
  • Recommends face coverings for everyone

Section 7:

  • Allows for curbside pickup of beer and wine

Section 9:

  • Extends emergency unemployment benefits

Section 10:

  • Extends authorization for employer paid support payments
  • These payments will not impact unemployment benefits

Section 12:

  • Authorizes any and all law enforcement officers to enforce this order

Effective immediately and lasts for the duration of the declared State of Emergency

Executive Order 2021-15, Issued March 24
Extends the State of Emergency due to COVID-19 for another 15 days (set to expire Wednesday, April 7); extends transportation waivers established due to COVID-19; extends price gouging laws; and extends Executive Order 2021-12 (above).

Recommended Precautions from the CDC

The CDC website advises employers to:

  • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home.
  • Send home sick employees.
  • Perform routine cleaning.
  • Advise employees before traveling to check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest coronavirus guidance and recommendations.
  • More information for businesses can be found on the CDC website here.
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