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The Daily Tar Heel

Orange County will restrict food, alcohol service at night starting July 10

The bartender with a mask on talks to a customer at Might As Well Bar & Grill on West Franklin Street on Sunday, June 7, 2020. Might As Well is one of the several bars in Chapel Hill re-opening with some changes during this phase of COVID-19 recovery.

As of this Friday, Orange County restaurants will not be able to provide sit-in food service from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., or dine-in alcohol orders from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., as per a declaration added to the county's state of emergency order this afternoon. 

Under the order, which will be in effect until Aug. 31, restaurants can still serve food via drive-in, delivery and take-out service after 10 p.m., so long as customers don't consume those products on site. 

Businesses that sell alcohol for onsite consumption cannot sell alcohol from 10 p.m. to under the order.

Additionally, the order bans establishments from allowing customers to sit or stand at a bar, and mandates these establishments not allow patrons to touch shared surfaces, like bar tops and games such as pinball and darts. Under the order, restrooms are not considered shared surfaces.

The amendment will also limit outdoor events or gatherings to 25 people, with the exception of weddings, funerals, religious gatherings, work gatherings, and gatherings to obtain goods or services. Protests are not a mentioned exception. 

In a press release, Penny Rich, chairperson of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, said this decision comes in light of the county's tripled case count since Memorial Day.

“These additional measures will help protect our community by reducing group settings where the virus can easily spread," Rich said in the release. "We must be vigilant in practicing physical distancing and wearing masks. It is more important than ever that we look out for each other.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

 @DTHCityState | 

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