It would not be unreasonable to question whether we'll see high school football this Fall. Spring sports have already been the victim of the COVID-19 pandemic. Basketball and hockey seasons came to a screeching halt. Major League Baseball and auto racing have also been shuttered for now. The latest sports victim of the pandemic is the American Legion World Series, normally held each year in August in Shelby. It has been cancelled for this year, and there's the possibility that there won't be any American Legion baseball this year. The question now is how long will this last? If the pandemic isn't over by Fall, schools may continue to be closed and events usually held in Fall may be in question.
The effort to slow the spread of the disease continues--and new rules designed to help will be going into place.
Those who have been complaining loud and long about their perception that people are ignoring the stay at home edict and going about business as usual will be happy with what Governor Roy Cooper announced Thursday afternoon. Cooper issued an executive order setting new social-distancing requirements for grocers and other retailers across the state.
The governor said that some stores are already capping how many shoppers can be in their buildings at the same time and ensuring that by controlling access at the front door. Walmart began that policy over last weekend.
Cooper said the new requirement will "make it more uniform across the state."
Cooper said he understands that not all stores are able to offer delivery service and some people like to make their own selections rather than having it done for them: "I know people have to go out to get groceries and other essential items." But he said some retailers have already instituted caps on the number of customers inside their stores, asking additional shoppers to line up outside, then let a new customer in for each previous shopper who leaves.
Some stores have marked off the pavement outside to show the spots where those waiting in line should stand to keep the recommended six feet of separation between themselves and others in line.
"To help keep people from getting too close to each other, some stores have also marked off aisles as going in only one direction," Cooper noted.
Ingles in Lincolnton had put arrows on the floor this week to do just that but many customers were ignoring the direction arrows.
Beginning Wednesday, Harris Teeter began limiting the number of customers to half of what's normally allowed in its stores, now one customer per 120 square feet. HT had also begun last week having one employee spray cart handles with disinfectant as the carts are returned after use.
Lowe's and Walmart have probably been the stores most mentioned in Facebook posts by those who have objected to others (in their opinion) ignoring the social distancing requirement. Lowe's has been making announcements every 15 minutes to urge social distancing, but some shoppers have paid them no attention. Some have made their shopping trips family outings, bringing along their children. Lowe's (and others) has also been doing extra cleaning of surfaces in stores after closing since the coronavirus can remain on items after an infected person has departed.
Cooper's new edict becomes effective Monday (April 13th).