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Commissioners extend State of Emergency Declaration

JACKSON – The curfew enacted by the Northampton County Commissioners back in April to prevent the spread of COVID-19 remains in effect, though the hours have now changed.

The Board voted at a special meeting on June 29 to amend the county’s State of Emergency Declaration for the fourth time. This amendment pushed the countywide curfew back two hours to begin at 11 p.m. daily.

“This is to account for businesses in each town that are closing past the previous curfew,” explained County Manager Charles Jackson.

As with the earlier curfew declarations, the order extends to anyone who is not expressly exempt as essential business or operations under Gov. Cooper’s Phase II orders. The new adjusted curfew will remain in effect until July 31 unless otherwise modified or extended.

Commissioner Nicole Boone spoke up during the discussion to also encourage citizens to continue wearing masks.

“Although they are uncomfortable for some, we need to wear masks to protect ourselves and to protect others that we come into contact with,” she urged. “Let’s be wise regarding the wearing of masks at this time.”

Commissioner Geneva Faulkner motioned to approve the amended declaration and Commissioner Joyce Buffaloe seconded. The vote was unanimously in favor.

The Board first enacted their State of Emergency Declaration at a meeting on March 16 in order to curb community spread of the virus. Under the declaration, citizens are strongly urged to conduct all county business by phone or appointment until further notice, and local government will continue to operating while cleaning and sanitizing all facilities as necessary.

They later added the curfew at their April 6 meeting.

“Some people in Northampton County are not taking this serious,” Board Chair Charles Tyner said at the April meeting. “We must do all we can do to stop this virus.”

As of July 6, the Northampton County Health Department reported 207 total positive cases. 172 of those have been deemed recovered. The county has had a total of 15 COVID-19 related deaths.