North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and public health officials unveiled on Tuesday a new alert system that will encourage counties with high levels of coronavirus transmission to more aggressively enforce statewide health guidelines and punish noncompliant businesses.
Dangled over the counties’ heads is a big stick: the possibility of the state placing greater restrictions on them.
Leaders in over half of the state’s counties, including 10 deemed to have “critical community spread,” are now being encouraged to pass ordinances levying fines against residents and businesses not complying with public health directives. They include the statewide mask mandate Cooper enacted months ago to combat COVID-19, as well as gathering limits.