Tribe, State of North Carolina moving into Phase II of re-opening 

by May 21, 2020Front Page, NEWS ka-no-he-da





People on the Qualla Boundary and throughout the State of North Carolina will be able to sit down and have a meal in a restaurant again, get their hair cut, and even get a tattoo starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 22.  These businesses are re-opening, in a limited capacity, following being closed since late March due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).  

Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed issued Executive Order #13 on Thursday, May 21 and North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order #141 on Wednesday, May 20 – both setting Friday, May 22 as the day to move into Phase II of re-opening. 

“The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Public Health and Human Services Division’s leadership and Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority leadership have carefully monitored the spread of COVID-19 in Cherokee, North Carolina as well as in western North Carolina,” Chief Sneed said in his order.  “After considerable discussion with these health officials, and following the State of North Carolina, the EBCI will move into Phase II of our re-opening plan starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 22.”  

According to Chief Sneed’s Order #13, the following changes will take place: 

* Restaurants open for dine-in at 50 percent capacity 

* Salons and barber shops open at 50 percent capacity 

* Personal Care, Grooming, and Tattoo establishments open at 50 percent capacity 

* Child care facilities open at 100 percent capacity 

* Day and overnight camps for youth open at 100 percent capacity 

* Food Lion Plaza checkpoints will be removed; checkpoints will be installed at the entrances to Food Lion itself which will remain for one week (through May 29 at 5 p.m.)  

The order states that all of these businesses and services must adhere to the “guidelines for cleaning and social distancing” as established by the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services.  

The State of North Carolina’s stay-at-home order is lifted by Gov. Cooper’s Order No. 141 which includes many of the same measures as the Tribe. 

“North Carolina is using the data to guide our decisions about when to lift COVID-19 restrictions, and overall our key indicators remain stable,” Gov. Cooper said in a statement on May 20.  “Safer At Home Phase 2 is another careful step forward, and we have to continue taking this virus seriously to prevent a dangerous spike in infections.”  

Some of the measures presented in Gov. Cooper’s order include: 

* Gatherings at conference centers, stadiums and sports arenas, amphitheaters, and groups at parks or beaches are limited to 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors 

* Restaurants open for dine-in at 50 percent capacity

* Salons and barber shops open at 50 percent 

* Swimming pools open at 50 percent

* Child care facilities, day camps, and overnight camps open “with enhanced cleaning and screening requirements” 

Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services, said in a statement on May 20, “From the beginning, North Carolinians have joined together to confront this crisis.  We need to rely on one another to practice the three Ws as we begin leaving our homes more.  When we wear a face covering, wait six feet apart, and wash our hands often, we are showing we care for our loved ones and neighbors.”  

With Gov. Cooper’s order, church gatherings and funerals can proceed as normal.  The order states, “Worship, religious and spiritual gatherings, funeral ceremonies, wedding ceremonies, and other activities constituting the exercise of First Amendment rights are exempt from all of the requirements of this Executive Order and Executive Order Nos. 121 and 138…” 

According to information from the Governor’s Office, “Some businesses will remain closed in Phase II including: bars, nightclubs, gyms and indoor fitness facilities, indoor entertainment venues such as movie theaters, and bowling alleys.”  

Chief Sneed said in a statement, “Playgrounds, gyms, and movie theaters will remain closed until further notice.”