East Spencer town board to consider curfew during COVID-19 pandemic

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 31, 2020

By Shavonne Potts

EAST SPENCER — The town is considering instituting a curfew during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The East Spencer Board of Aldermen discussed its options during an emergency-called meeting held Monday. No decision was made as to whether a curfew would be imminent.

Alderwoman Deloris High was the first to mention the idea of establishing a curfew. High said she felt the town needed one to better assist the police department with the enforcement of N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home order.

Police Chief Sharon Hovis said the town had previously established an 11 p.m. curfew for youth. The board only discussed creating a 9 p.m. curfew until an undetermined time.

This weekend, the city of Lexington instituted a 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Currently, according to the Rowan County Public Health Department, there have been no confirmed COVID-19 cases in the town of East Spencer.

In a response to the pandemic, Hovis said she would set up checkpoints to make residents aware of the stay-at-home order. And because there’s been some youth playing basketball at Royal Giants Park, the town agreed to have the basketball rims removed to discourage the sport temporarily.

Hovis said there would be no way to observe social distancing through a basketball game.

The town also decided to rope off areas of the playground to keep children off the equipment. The board agreed it did not want to restrict anyone from going to the park to walk or exercise, but members said they wanted to guard against residents having close contact with one another. Per the governor’s order, all North Carolina communities have placed restrictions on playground equipment.

The town police department has also offered to conduct welfare checks on older residents or those who have older relatives living in the town. Anyone with a welfare check request should contact town hall at 704-636-7111.

The board also discussed each town department’s response amid the pandemic.

The fire department has provided letters for firefighters saying they are essential employees/volunteers. The department also has provided masks, hand sanitizer and ordered more supplies. The public works department will be on call and maintain a rotating schedule to minimize their contact with other employees.

The board will have a regular board meeting on April 6 but will decide before the meeting whether to hold it via video feed or conference call. Updates to the meeting status will be posted on the town’s website townofeastspencer.org/.