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State officials call on local leaders for additional support in battling COVID-19

On Friday, Governor Roy Cooper, Secretary Mandy K. Cohen and Secretary Erik Hooks wrote a letter to local elected officials imploring them to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in their communities by considering additional enforcement measures.

“Now more than ever we need help with enforcement from our local partners to fight this raging pandemic,” said Governor Cooper. “Taking steps now to protect our communities by enforcing safety precautions will help reduce transmission of the virus and save lives.”

A recent advisory opinion from the North Carolina Department of Justice concludes that local governments may unquestionably enforce local ordinances that establish civil penalties for violations of the Governor’s COVID-19 Executive Orders.

“We are on a dangerous course,” said North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD. “Everyone – our counties and municipalities, businesses, community organizations, and every North Carolinian – must act to save lives and make sure our hospitals can care for those who need them.”

“Good public health is vitally important to maintaining a safe and secure environment,” said NC Department of Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks. “Public safety professionals at all levels of government are essential to supporting the public health sector of our state and nation’s critical infrastructure.”