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Amid Coronavirus, Going to Church a Misdemeanor in NC While Restaurants, Libraries Still Allowed

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Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order in North Carolina today limiting mass gatherings to no more than 100 people while also closing public schools.

Executive order 117 states that “to help protect the health and well-being of North Carolinians, I [Governor Roy Cooper] hereby prohibit mass gatherings in the State of North Carolina.”

However, according to the executive order, “a mass gathering does not include normal operations at airports, bus and train stations, medical facilities, libraries, shopping malls and centers, or other spaces where more than one hundred persons are gathered. It also does not include office environments, restaurants, factories, grocery stores or other retail establishments.”

While it is understandable that medical facilities and airports would be exempt, but one can only wonder why restaurants and libraries would be exempt from the mandate, but not churches.

Hundreds of churches across North Carolina meet regularly on Sunday mornings with more than 100 people and, according to the executive order, violations “may be subject to prosecution” and “punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor.”

The full text of the executive order is below:

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