PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WNCT) In an effort to promote public safety and limit the spread of COVID-19, Pitt County court officials have issued an Administrative Order that requires anyone visiting or working in any courthouse facility for Judicial District 3A (Pitt County) to wear a face covering.
The Order, issued by Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Marvin K. Blount, takes effect at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 2, and will remain in effect until further notice.
The requirement to wear a face-covering is subject to change at any time to reflect current medical and safety advice and guidance.
“In today’s current environment, our court system must continue to administer justice in a manner that protects the health and safety of the public, court personnel and court officials,” said Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Marvin K. Blount. “As one of the largest counties in the state, Pitt County has a very busy courthouse with many people who enter our facility daily. We have made great progress in the past weeks to reduce the number of people in our courtrooms at any given time. However, because too many people are showing up with either no face mask or wearing a mask improperly, it became apparent that a new policy requiring face masks must be adopted.”
There are few exceptions to the requirement. Face coverings are not required:
- For people whose religious beliefs prevent them from wearing a face-covering
- For those who cannot wear a face-covering due to a medical or behavioral condition
- While dining or eating or consuming food or beverage
- In courthouse offices or workstations provided that six feet social distancing can be maintained
- When complying with directions of law enforcement officers
- While conducting official business where the wearing of a face-covering impedes communications or is not feasible, or as directed by the presiding judge or judicial official’
Anyone entering the courthouse is encouraged to bring their own face covering or mask.
However, a mask will be provided for those who attempt to enter without one.
Deputy sheriff/law enforcement personnel and security personnel are authorized to require the removal of a face covering worn by any person if, in their discretion, the face-covering poses a security concern, impedes identification, or otherwise interferes with the administration of justice within judicial facilities.
Deputy sheriff/law enforcement personnel and security personnel are also authorized to deny entry into the Pitt County Courthouse or remove from the courthouse, any person who does not comply with the requirements of the Order.