By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Due to the continued rising amount of COVID-19 cases, the State of North Carolina has a curfew order taking effect on Friday, Dec. 11; however, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) has decided not to follow suit. The N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services reported its highest single-day COVID-19 case count to date on Dec. 11 with 7,540 new positive cases.
“After considerable research and consideration, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will not be adopting the measures included in the newest Executive Order issued by Governor Roy Cooper,” Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed said in a statement on the afternoon of Dec. 11. “As Principal Chief of the EBCI, I have worked with EBCI public health officials to enact social distancing measures that protect our tribal citizens and guests while balancing the financial position of our community. I will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 in our community and will update our community if further measures are warranted.”
Chief Sneed’s decision applies to the lands governed by the EBCI.
Gov. Cooper said in a statement on Dec. 8, “We already have strong safety protocols and capacity limitations in place – including a statewide mask requirement. With this additional action beginning Friday, we hope to get these numbers down. Our new modified Stay At Home order aims to limit gatherings and get people home where they are safer, especially during the holidays. It’s also a reminder that we must be vigilant the rest of the day – wearing a face mask when we are with people we don’t live with, keeping a safe distance from others and washing our hands a lot.”
Information from Gov. Cooper’s office states, “The Order requires restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, personal care businesses and more to close at 10 pm. Travel to and from work; to obtain food, medical care, fuel or social services; or to take care of a family member is exempted.”
There are some other business exemptions to the Governor’s order as well. Information from his office states, “Retail businesses that sell groceries, medication, health care supplies, and fuel may remain open between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Service at restaurants, breweries, distilleries, and wineries may continue for take-out and delivery after 10 p.m.”
NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. said in a statement, “Your actions can keep people from getting sick, save lives, and make sure our hospitals can care for people whether it’s for a heart attack or a car accident or COVID-19. Protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community now.”
Gov. Cooper’s order is in effect from Dec. 11 at 5 p.m. until Jan. 8, 2021 at 5 p.m.