Last updated November 23, 2020
We're collecting COVID-19-related FAQs on this page, including questions about facility availability, the Phase 3 Order and its extension, 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 Orders 147 and 180, and subsequent orders, face masks are now required indoors whenever someone not in the same household is present and outdoors whenever physical distancing of six feet is not possible. These orders include all public spaces, businesses, and facilities.
Unless a person falls under an exception identified in the order, masks are required in the following places:
- Retail Businesses: All workers and customers must wear face coverings when they are inside the establishment.
- Restaurants: All restaurant 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 outdoors 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 October 2, North Carolina entered Phase 3 of the state's reopening plan, which eases some restrictions on the previous Stay at Home and Safer at Home Orders and allows for more business operations and openings, with limits. Face coverings and gathering limits are still a requirement under this phase.
Phase 3 took effect at 5 p.m. on Friday, October 2, 2020 and has been extended through December 4, 2020, unless changed or canceled.
The order consists of the following guidelines:
- Large outdoor venues with seating greater than 10,000 may operate with 7% occupancy for spectators.
- Smaller outdoor entertainment venues, such as arenas or amphitheaters, may operate outdoors at 30% of outdoor capacity – or 100 guests, whichever is less.
- Movie theaters and conference centers may open indoor spaces to 30% of capacity – or 100 guests, whichever is less.
- Bars may operate outdoors at 30% of outdoor capacity – or 100 guests, whichever is less.
- Amusement parks may open at 30% occupancy, outdoor attractions only.
- The limits on mass gatherings has been reduced to 25 people indoors; it remains at 50 people outdoors.
- The 11 p.m. curfew on alcohol sales for in-person consumption in locations such as restaurants and outdoor bars will be extended to Dec. 4.
- Meeting spaces in hotels, conference centers, meeting halls and reception venues may host receptions, meetings and other functions, subject to reduced capacity limits and other restrictions.
- Gaming establishments may reopen, subject to reduced capacity limits.
- Very large outdoor facilities with a capacity of more than 10,000 guests may reopen at 7% of the facility’s total seating capacity, if they meet certain requirements.
The Phase 3 Executive Order does not change the following:
- The Three Ws (wear, wait, wash) should be practiced.
- The mass gathering limit remains at 50 outdoors, but has been reduced to 10 people indoors.
- Indoor seating areas in bars remain closed.
- Indoor rides at amusement parks remain closed.
- Fitness and exercise facilities remain open, subject to reduced capacity limits and other requirements.
- Restaurants remain subject to capacity limits and other requirements for in-person dining.
- Personal care businesses such as hair salons, nail salons, barber shops and more remain subject to capacity limits and other requirements.
- Museums and aquariums remain open, subject to reduced capacity limits and other requirements.
- Face coverings are still required in public when it is not possible to maintain social distancing from non-household members. In Phase 3, this requirement applies to any public place or business – indoor or outdoor.
- Alcohol sales are still required to cease from 11 p.m. - 7 a.m.
Yes. Under the Phase 3 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. This includes on transportation or rides operated by amusement parks, unless an exception applies.
Public and private gatherings outdoors of more than 50 people are currently prohibited under the current Executive Order.
No. If your business falls into one of the categories listed essential, then you may continue 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.