March 19, 2020: UPDATE: Limiting Operations of Restaurants and Bars

As you know, guidance associated with COVID-19 is subject to change since we learn more every day. Today there was a change in the status of disease transmission that affects the enforcement of public health control measures.

In light of new information today regarding the presence of community spread of COVID-19 in North Carolina, local jurisdictions should enforce the more stringent Order of Abatement of Imminent Hazard issued by the Secretary of the NC Department of Health and Human Services, which states that “seating areas of restaurants and bars constitute an imminent hazard for the spread of COVID-19.” Restaurants shall close all seating areas immediately and bars are directed to close immediately. Restaurants are restricted to carry-out, drive-through, and delivery to ensure food is available while maintaining social distancing. Restaurant staff are not permitted to serve patrons indoors or in the outdoor seating area, and all areas of North Carolina are subject to mass gathering restrictions and social distancing guidelines. If a restaurant has outdoor seating, onsite consumption in the outdoor seating area is not permitted pursuant to the Order of Abatement.

Local law enforcement agencies and district attorneys are generally responsible for enforcement of the Order (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 166A-19.30(a)(2)) and the Order of Abatement. Pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 130A-18 and 130A-25, failure to comply with the Order of Abatement issued by the Secretary of the NC Department of Health and Human Services may result in injunctive relief against the establishment in question or prosecution for a misdemeanor offense. Violations of the Order are subject to prosecution pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 166A-19.30(d) and are punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor in accordance with N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-288.20A.

The following is a link to the Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”) for Executive Order No. 118 and Order of Abatement:

Larry D. Michael, REHS, MPH

State Environmental Health Director/Section Chief

Division of Public Health, Environmental Health Section

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

Office: 919 707 5855

Fax: 919 845 3973


5605 Six Forks Road

1632 Mail Service Center

Raleigh, NC 27699-1632

Regional Shellfish Sanitation Specialist Position

If you’re looking for a change in your career path and you want to join the best team in NC state government (hey, I’m biased!!) then this may be for you! We have an opening for a Regional Specialist / Program Supervisor in our Shellfish Sanitation Program. The position is located in Dare County and you can view the specifics at: 60034500 Environmental Program Supv I – Dare County []

Jeff French, REHS

NC Div. of Marine Fisheries,

Shellfish Sanitation & Recreational Water Quality Section

Central & Western NC Inspections Office

Reidsville, NC

Office Phone: 336-348-6770

Cell: 336-613-6701

State Environmental Health COVID-19 Resources

We have been working to help provide guidance to restaurants about reducing COVID-19 transmission. I know this is something that industry and local health departments have been asking for. It is attached here.

We also have created a recommendation document for doing field work during this outbreak. As public health professionals, we need to be prepared to respond to this outbreak while also reducing our risk of exposure.

Finally, we have been working with DPI on some documents for food service distribution while schools are out. Several school districts have implemented delivery routes using school buses, which presents a unique food safety challenge. We have created documents that can be distributed to school sites, including TPHC for delivery meals, guidance for boxed lunches, and guidance for delivery meals. Additionally, there are community organizations setting up to provide free food in these situations. Although it may be exempt if it is not food for pay, we want to be able to provide food safety guidance and recommendations to these groups where requested or needed. Attached is the basic food safety infosheet we have used in the past for volunteers or temporary events that can be distributed. As resources are available, please follow-up with the school system and community groups providing meal service.

Thank you for the work you are doing to protect NC during this outbreak. We are here to assist, please let us know if you have questions or concerns.

Veronica Bryant, REHS

Emergency Preparedness and Outbreak Coordinator

Division of Public Health, Environmental Health Section

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

919-218-6943 mobile

5605 Six Forks Road

1632 Mail Service Center

Raleigh, NC 27699-1632

COVID 19 restaurant memo final.pdf

TPHC Covid meal delivery.pdf

Delivery meals.pdf

Boxed Lunch Guidance[2][1].pdf

WEG Infosheet4.pdf

field staff guidance.pdf

field staff guidance.pdf