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As a result of receiving inquiries concerning the operation of certain businesses, the Winston-Salem Police Department is submitting this information to our Media Partners for dissemination.

The Forsyth County Department of Public Health, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Office of Emergency Management, the Forsyth County District Attorney’s Office, and the WSPD have all received inquiries related to a variety of businesses or other establishments operating in what has been perceived to be in violation of the Governor’s Executive Order #117, Prohibiting Mass Gatherings and Directing the Statewide Closure of K-12 Public Schools to Limit the Spread of COVID-19.

We have included a portion of Section 1 of Executive Order #117, specifically subsection b., which provides exceptions for retail establishments to continue operating, such as transportation stations, medical facilities, grocery stores, restaurants, and other retail businesses, during this International Pandemic.

Therefore, the operation of a variety of types of businesses fall within the “normal retail operations” exception to the mass gathering restriction under Executive Order #117.

All of the above listed Agencies provide this information in partnership to accurately provide the facts as related in Governor Cooper’s Executive Order #117, and to assist in dispelling myths and rumors that certain businesses are being operated in violation of the Executive Order. Additionally, we are receiving guidance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Government, who concurs with our interpretation of this section of Executive Order #117. However, this is a rapidly evolving circumstance with some modifications to procedures being made daily, therefore, our response could change in the future based on further guidance from our State Government.

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