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Clarifying order, state bars outdoor dining service

Clarifying the order that shut down dine-in restaurant service, the North Carolina Department of Public Health and Human Services told local governments that outdoor service is barred as well, ending a practice that restaurants in downtown Hendersonville had been using to continue to serve customers.

The state said cities and counties 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.”

The order further said:

"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."

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The City of Hendersonville, in collaboration with the Henderson County Department of Public Health, urged all establishments and patrons to comply with these measures aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19. Members of the public are encouraged to support local businesses via carry-out and delivery service. Curbside delivery parking spaces in downtown Hendersonville launch today. Please visit to continue supporting local businesses.