Last updated September 4, 2020
We're collecting COVID-19-related FAQs on this page, including questions about facility availability, the Safer at Home Phase 2 Order, rules around face coverings in public, and more. Check out the NCDHHS FAQs for additional information.
Click or tap the questions below to view answers.
Per Governor Cooper's Executive Order 147, face masks are now required in both indoor and outdoor public spaces where physical distancing of six feet is not possible at all times.
Unless a person falls under an exception identified in the order, masks are required in the following places:
- Retail Businesses: All workers must wear face coverings. All customers must wear face coverings when they are inside the establishment and may be within six feet of another person.
- Restaurants: All restaurants workers must wear face coverings. All customers must wear face coverings when not at their table.
- Personal Care, Grooming, and Tattoo Businesses: All workers must wear face coverings. All customers must wear face coverings when they are inside the establishment and may be within six feet of another person. Customers may take off their face coverings if they are receiving a facial treatment, shave, or other services on a part of the head which the face covering covers or by which the face covering is secured.
- Child Care Facilities: All workers and all other adults must wear face coverings. All children eleven years and older must also wear face coverings. Children under two should not wear a face covering.
- State Government Employees: State government agencies headed by members of the Governor’s Cabinet must have their on-site workers wear face coverings. Other state and local government agencies are strongly encouraged to adopt similar policies.
- Transportation: All workers and riders on public or private vehicles, as well as all people in North Carolina airports, bus and train stations or stops, must wear face coverings. Passengers will not be denied access to public transportation for failure to use face coverings. This provision does not apply to people traveling alone with household members or friends in their personal vehicles, but does apply to ride-shares like Ubers and Lyfts, cabs, vans, and shuttles, even if the vehicles are privately owned.
- Manufacturing, Construction Sites, Agricultural Settings: Social distancing is difficult where multiple workers are together in manufacturing settings, at construction sites, and in migrant farm, other farm, and agricultural settings. The order specifies that manufacturing, construction, and agriculture businesses or operations must require workers to wear face coverings.
- Meat or Poultry Processing Plants: All workers in any meat or poultry processing plant, packing plant, or slaughterhouse must wear surgical masks, as long as surgical mask supplies are available. If surgical masks are not available, cloth face coverings must be provided.
- Long Term Care Facilities: All workers in long term care (LTC) facilities, including skilled nursing facilities, adult care homes, family care homes, mental health group homes, and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, must wear surgical masks while in the facility, as long as surgical mask supplies are available.
- Has a medical or behavioral condition or disability and cannot wear a face covering (including, but not limited to, any person who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious or incapacitated, or is otherwise unable to put on or remove the face covering without assistance).
- Is under eleven (11) years of age.
- Is actively eating or drinking.
- Is strenuously exercising or swimming.
- Is seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired in a way that requires the mouth to be visible.
- Is giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience.
- Is working at home or alone in a vehicle.
- Is temporarily removing his or her Face Covering to secure government or medical services or for identification purposes.
- Would be at risk from wearing a Face Covering at work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.
- Has found that his or her Face Covering is impeding visibility to operate equipment or a vehicle
- Is a child whose parent, guardian, or responsible person has been unable to place the Face Covering safely on the child’s face.
- Children under two (2) years of age should not wear a face covering.
Keep up-to-date on the latest information for COVID-19 in North Carolina and Cary, including information on testing centers, best practices, and resources.
For information about statewide COVID-19 response and resources, dial 211 or (888) 892-1162, or text COVIDNC to 898211.
For information or assistance regarding COVID-19 in the Town of Cary, dial 311 from inside Town limits, or (919) 469-4000 outside Cary. Contact your primary care doctor if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, and call 911 if you are having difficulty breathing or need emergency care.
Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to the flu. They are:
- Shortness of breath
COVID-19 can cause mild to moderate respiratory illness. Most people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms that do not require hospitalization, although there have been reports of severe illness with a small percentage resulting in death. Respiratory symptoms alone are not an indicator for COVID-19.
Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure. If you think you may have COVID-19, call your primary care doctor. If you are experiencing extreme symptoms or have an emergency, dial 911.
If you are exhibiting symptoms associated with COVID-19, or if you've been in a situation you believe puts you at risk of infection, contact your primary care doctor. You can also visit one of Wake County's drive-through testing sites, which are being set up at locations throughout the county. Sign up in advance, as these sites tend to reach capacity.
If you are having difficulty breathing and need emergency care, please call 911.
Executive and Stay at Home Orders
On September 4, North Carolina entered Phase 2.5 of the state's reopening, which eases some restrictions on the previous Stay at Home and Safer at Home Orders. Face coverings and gathering limits are still a requirement under this phase.
The statewide Stay at Home Order was lifted on May 22, 2020, and Phase 2.5 loosens some restrictions outlined in the Phase 2 Safer At Home recommendation. It is important to stay home if you are sick. At all times, people should practice the "3 Ws": wear a cloth face covering, wait 6 feet apart from others in public, and wash their hands regularly.
High-risk individuals are urged to stay at home and travel only for absolutely essential purposes. The CDC defines high-risk individuals as:
- People 65 years or older
- People of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions, including people who are immunocompromised or who have chronic lung disease, moderate-to-severe asthma, serious heart conditions, severe obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis or liver disease
Phase 2.5 took effect at 5 p.m. on Friday, September 4, 2020 and will be in effect through October 2, 2020, unless changed or canceled.
The order consists of the following guidelines:
- Restaurants will be allowed to open for on-premises dining with limits on occupancy, specific requirements for disinfection of common spaces and 6 feet between each group of customers sitting at each table.
- Child care businesses will be able to open to serve all children, as long as they follow state health guidelines.
- Allows overnight camps may operate, following specific public health requirements and guidance
- Personal care, grooming, massage and tattoo businesses may open with specific requirements for disinfection of equipment, face coverings for the service providers, six feet of distance between customers, and a 50% reduced occupancy
- Indoor and outdoor pools may open with 50% reduced occupancy, following specific public health requirements
- People may gather together for social purposes, as long as they do not exceed the mass gathering limit of 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors
- Sporting and entertainment events may be held in large venues for broadcast to the public, as long as the number of spectators on premises is limited to the mass gathering limit of 25 people indoors or 50 people outdoors
The Phase 2.5 Executive Order does not change the following:
- The Three Ws (wear, wait, wash) should be practiced.
- Bars and nightclubs remain closed.
- Movie theaters, bowling alleys, amusement parks, arcades, and skating rinks remain closed.
- Bingo parlors and other gaming establishments remain closed.
- Teleworking continues to be encouraged whenever possible.
- Visitation at long-term care facilities remains restricted, except for certain compassionate care situations.
- The following facilities that operate within an indoor space remain closed: spas, exercise facilities, gyms, fitness studios, martial arts facilities, dance studios, trampoline and rock-climbing facilities, roller skating rinks, ice staking rinks and basketball courts.
Under Phase 2 of Governor Cooper's plan to ease restrictions on the previously issued Stay at Home order, more businesses are allowed to open, and people may begin to participate in some activities formerly deemed nonessential. However, some businesses are still deemed nonessential, including:
- You cannot hold or attend gatherings of more than 25 people indoors or 50 people outside at any one time.
- Unless you are providing essential services, telework is encouraged whenever possible.
- Bars and nightclubs where no food is served
- Indoor entertainment venues, including theaters
- Bowling alleys
For more information on restrictions, read the full Executive Order.
Yes. Under the Safer at Home Phase 2.5 order, citizens are asked to maintain a minimum of six feet of social distancing at all times, and to be respectful of others as they exercise on paths, greenways, and public places. Organized gatherings of no more than 50 persons may also be held outdoors, as long as social distancing and mitigation practices are observed.
As of Friday, June 26 at 5 p.m., face masks are required in situations where social distancing is not possible.
Public and private gatherings outdoors of more than 50 people are currently prohibited under the North Carolina Safer at Home order.
No. If your business falls into one of the categories listed essential in the Phase 2 order, then you may continue to leave your home to maintain operations. You do not need to obtain any specific authorization from the Town of Cary to do so.
For a list of essential businesses, click here to read the full text of the North Carolina Stay at Home order.
Essential businesses may now operate under new Emergency Maximum Occupancy restrictions. This means:
- The maximum occupancy for essential retail businesses is now 50% of normal posted maximum occupancy. Retailers are responsible for calculating their emergency maximum occupancy, displaying it in a place patrons can easily see, and ensuring entrances and exits are appropriately staffed to enforce these limits. Regular cleaning and social distancing practices are also to be in place for a business to be considered compliant.
- Pools, salons, personal care businesses, and indoor dining areas of restaurants may now open as long as this reduced capacity is observed along with regular cleaning & disinfection practices.
If you are a business owner, employee, or citizen that has been affected by COVID-19 in Cary, these resources can help get you through.