DARE Co., N.C. - Starting Sunday, people in Dare County must wear face coverings in indoor and outdoor public spaces where social distancing is not possible.
Dare County officials met Friday afternoon and updated the Emergency Declaration for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to include this mandate.
This measure goes into effect on Sunday, June 21 at 9 a.m.
The updated declaration covers all areas of Dare County including the towns of Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Manteo and the unincorporated areas of Dare County, including Hatteras Island and the Dare mainland.
This decision comes after discussion regarding the current state guidelines that strongly encourage face coverings. Voluntary compliance with face covering recommendations has not been effective within Dare County, and local business owners have requested a stronger tool for compliance.
There are some exceptions to the updated mandate, including dining in a restaurant, for reasons related to medical or behavioral conditions and for children under the age of 12. A complete list of exceptions is available here.
County officials say wearing a face covering or mask in public when unable to social distance is crucial to maintaining the health and safety of the Outer Banks community. They are also asking people to keep in mind that there may be justifiable reasons some people are not wearing a mask or a face covering in public.
To view the full order, click here.
Click here for more information on cloth face coverings and frequently asked questions on the response to COVID-19 in Dare County.