Town Launches Campaign Encouraging Use of Masks


From Staff Reports

The town of Chapel Hill is urging everyone over 12 years of age to wear masks or face coverings when indoors in a public place and outdoors when at least six feet of physical distancing is difficult to maintain.

The new campaign, launched May 27 and dubbed “Safer for Everyone in Chapel Hill,” supports the state’s Phase Two requirements during the coronavirus pandemic that recommend the wearing of face coverings in business settings and in public.

“We know that the virus can stay in the air for up to three hours and can spread between people interacting near one another,” said Chapel Hill Mayor Hemminger. “By wearing a mask or face covering, each of us is taking care of one another so we can all stay as healthy as possible.”

As of May 22, face coverings are required to be worn by any employee on duty of a transactional business in Orange County. It is up to the business owners to enforce this requirement. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, studies show that “a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms and that even those who eventually develop symptoms can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.”

Business owners also have been asked to require their customers to wear masks and encourage physical distancing and safe hygiene practices while in their stores.  Local and state business organizations — including the Greater Chapel Hill Chamber of Commerce and Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership — have been working closely with business owners to implement safety protocols to protect employees and patrons.

The town is currently designing a plan to share face masks to any community members in need.  More details will be announced in the coming weeks.  If you are interested in donating masks (handmade or manufactured) to support this effort, contact

For guidance on how to care for your mask, see the CDC’s webpage, “Use Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19.”

To join the campaign, take a picture of yourself wearing a mask and share it on social media with the hashtag #SaferInChapelHill.

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