COVID-19 Safer-At-Home Order Questions
View the Safer-At-Home Order here.
Although Durham has done well in flattening the curve of cases of the virus and slowing its spread, we have recently had a significant increase in cases. We have recently had growth in our cases at twice the level of the state of North Carolina as a whole. In addition, our cases per capita are three times the per capita rate in Wake County. With these concerning trends, the city and county are being a bit more cautious than the state in our Safer-At-Home order.
Self-certifying means businesses are voluntarily agreeing to follow a set of best practices based on guidance by public health experts for reducing the spread of COVID-19. Businesses will have the opportunity to demonstrate they have self-certified by publicly and prominently displaying at their place of business a checklist of safety guidelines that the task force will develop in collaboration with local experts. The checklist will include both a common set of best practices we expect of all gathering places as well as optional industry-specific practices.
The task force will soon release additional information about the process. The important thing to know now is that the process is voluntary and will not delay businesses from opening who are able to open under local orders. The process will entail downloading and printing a self-certification checklist for your industry and posting it prominently in a place in your businesses where all customers will see it upon entering. The checklist will serve as a reminder to our businesses of the practices they are committing to follow. Prominently displaying it will encourage accountability to business patrons who will know what they should expect upon entering the establishment.
This self-certification process is entirely voluntary. It is not required, so there will be no enforcement of it. Rather, the self-certification process is a way for businesses to give confidence to their customers, clients and employees that they are providing a safe place to work, shop and receive services.
Face Covering Questions
A cloth face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. It can be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face. It can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk, or linen.
A cloth face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, T-shirts, sweatshirts or towels.
Ideally, a face covering has two or more layers. These face coverings are not intended for use by healthcare providers in the care of patients.
Surgical masks, procedure masks and N95 respirators are not recommended for general public use or use in community settings, as these should be reserved for specific high-risk occupational settings, health care providers and other medical first responders in a health care setting.
Face coverings are required in Durham County at any time you'll be in contact with other people who are not household members in public or private spaces where it is not possible to maintain social distance.
These spaces include grocery stores, pharmacies, business locations and public transit. But remember, face coverings do not replace social distancing! It is still important to keep 6 feet away from others, even while covering your face!
As of June 26, 2020, face coverings are also required statewide.
When wearing your face coverings:
- Wash your hands before putting on your face covering
- Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
- Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face
- Make sure you can breathe easily
How To Wear Cloth Masks/Face Coverings (English):
Cómo Usar Cubiertas de Tela (Español)
Wash your cloth face covering frequently, ideally after each use, or at least daily. Have a bag or bin to keep cloth face coverings in until they can be laundered with detergent and hot water and dried on a hot cycle. If you must re-wear your cloth face covering before washing, wash your hands immediately after putting it back on and avoid touching your face. Discard cloth face coverings that:
- No longer cover the nose and mouth
- Have stretched out or damaged ties or straps
- Cannot stay on the face
- Have holes or tears in the fabric
Scientific evidence suggests that use of cloth face coverings by the public during a pandemic can help reduce disease transmission. Cloth face coverings can reduce the release of infectious particles into the air when someone speaks, coughs or sneezes.
Cloth face coverings are not a substitute for staying 6 feet apart, washing hands and staying home when ill.
No. If you are able to safely maintain at least 6 feet distance from others, you do not need to wear a face covering when exercising and walking outdoors.
COVID-19 General Questions
COVID case data, including demographic info like race and age, for the state can be found on the North Carolina Deparrtmenet of Health and Human Services website here: https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard.
This data for Durham County can be found on our data dashboard here: https://durhampublichealth-durhamnc.hub.arcgis.com/
Beginning April 20, 2020, all Durham County residents are required to wear a clean face covering any time they are or will be in contact with other people who are not household members in public or private spaces where it is not possible to maintain social distance such as grocery stories, pharmacies, business location and public transit. This is to protect people around you if you are infected but do not have symptoms.
Surgical masks and N95 respirators are in short supply and should be reserved for healthcare workers or other medical first responders, as recommended by CDC guidance.'
For more information on how to make and wear cloth masks, click here.
NCDHHS guidance recommends the following people should consider getting teseted for COVID-19:
- Anyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
- Close contacts of known positive cases, regardless of symptoms.
- The following groups are some of the populations with higher risk of exposure or a higher risk of severe disease if they become infected. People in these groups should get tested if they believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19, whether or not they have symptoms.
- People who live in or have regular contact with high-risk settings (e.g., long-term care facility, homeless shelter, correctional facility, migrant farmworker camp).
- Historically marginalized populations who may be at higher risk for exposure.
- Frontline and essential workers (grocery store clerks, gas station attendants, child care workers, construction sites, processing plants, etc.) in settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain.
- Health care workers or first responders (e.g. EMS, law enforcement, fire department, military).
- People who are at high risk of severe illness (e.g., people over 65 years of age, people of any age with underlying health conditions).
- People who have attended protests, rallies, or other mass gatherings could have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or could have exposed others. Testing should be considered for people who attended such events, particularly if they were in crowds or other situations where they couldn’t practice effective social distancing.
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.
These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the viru
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Congestion or runny nose
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: Notify the operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a cloth face covering before medical help arrives.
All people are at risk of contracting COVID-19 and suffering serious illness. Certain groups are at higher risk of suffering serious illness from COVID-19:
- People aged 65 years and older
- People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
- Other high-risk conditions could include:
- People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
- People who have heart disease with complications
- People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment
- People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [(BM]I)≥40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk
There is limited information so far about COVID-19 in pregnant women. Pregnant women are at higher risk from influenza and other respiratory viruses, so they are encouraged to be extra vigilant.
There are some common sense measures everyone can take to protect themselves and others from the spread of respiratory illnesses including coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.
- Practice social distancing.
- Wear cloth face coverings to prevent spreading germs to others.
There are many ways to help Durham County residents affected by COVID-19.
- Clinical- doctors, nurses, EMS
Clinical support- pharmacy, imaging & respiratory care
Other- facility maintenance, safety & admin
For community members:
Duke Health is accepting outside donations of unused medical grade N95 masks, surgical and ear-lop face masks, and unopened boxes of exam gloves. Homemade cloth masks are not being accepted at this time: https://sites.duke.edu/remedy/how-to-donate/
Click here for an additional list of organizations in need of volunteers and resources.
On the phone: Call the NCDHHS hotline at 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162 (available 24/7) , or the Durham County hotline at 919-635-8150 (available 8:30-5:00, Monday - Friday). You may also text COVIDNC to 898211 to sign up for text updates.
Via email: Sign up for our email list(s) to receive daily updates on the latest COVID-19 information and guidance. Use the links below to subscribe:
- For the general public: https://bit.ly/2U4CLIq
- For healthcare providers: https://bit.ly/2UtVsEe
- For businesses, faith communities, & community agencies: https://bit.ly/394P9w7
- Information in Spanish: https://bit.ly/3bhXwGr
On social media: