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The original item was published from 9/18/2020 9:35:12 AM to 9/18/2020 9:37:42 AM.

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COVID-19 Media Releases

Posted on: September 18, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Media Release COVID-19 - September 18, 2020

For Immediate Release


Phone: 980-432-1800

Rowan County Case Information:

Interim Guidance for Fall-Related Events During COVID

North Carolina health officials have released guidelines for North Carolinians as they participate in fall-related activities. The guidelines show that due to COVID-19, Phase 2.5 restrictions prohibit hayrides, train rides, and any fair-type games. The guidelines say capacity will be limited to 50% at places like pumpkin patches, apple orchards, and animal attractions.

"Any scenario in which people gather together poses a risk for COVID-19 transmission," NCDHHS said. "This includes fall-related events in North Carolina such as outdoor activities at farms, pumpkin patches, haunted houses/trails, and agritourism events."

The new guidelines also place mass gathering limits on corn mazes and outdoor haunted trails, saying no more than 50 people are allowed at one time.Organizers of fall-related events will have to create and implement a plan to minimize the opportunity for COVID-19 transmission. The guidance below will help organizers reduce the spread of COVID-19 in their communities.

Fall-related events are required to:

  • For pumpkin patches, apple orchards, animal attractions, and retail areas: limit to 50% of stated fire capacity or 12 people per 1,000 square feet if there is not a fire code number AND ensure sufficient social distancing with at least 6-foot separation between groups other than those in their household.
  • For corn mazes or outdoor haunted trails, people cannot cluster in groups larger than the current mass gathering limit. Monitor to allow people in as others exit during peak times AND ensure sufficient social distancing with at least 6-foot separation between groups other than those in their household.
  • All other group activities such as tours, receptions or parties are subject to the mass gathering limits.
  • Post the reduced “Emergency Maximum Capacity” in a conspicuous place.
  • Post signage at the main entrance that reminds people to stay 6 feet apart.
  • Clearly provide 6 feet floor markings in waiting areas, animal viewing areas, check-out lines, and other areas where people may congregate or wait.
  • Follow the NC DHHS Interim Guidance for Restaurants for reopening restaurants or concession stands. Bars must remain closed. It is recommended that fall-related events:
    • Close giant slides, bounce houses, and jumping pillows to reduce opportunities for people to gather and come in close contact with each other. If open, ensure individuals wait at least 6 ft. apart before their turn and ensure proper cleaning and disinfection.
    • Utilize self-check-in or place barriers between ticket/check in areas and customers.
    • Clearly mark designated entry and exit points to the extent possible.
    • Close all common seating areas, lounge areas, and other areas that promote individuals gathering in groups.
    • Develop reservation times to the extent possible to help limit wait times and lines.
    • Develop and use systems that allow for online, email, or phone transactions.
    • Discontinue use of drinking directly from water fountains and provide disposable cups or labeled water bottles for individuals when using any water fountains.

Activities closed due to COVID-19: 

Based on Executive Order 163, the following activities must remain closed through Phase 2.5: 

  • Indoor Haunted Houses
  • Train Rides (conducted for amusement purposes only)
  • Mechanical or Structural Rides and Mechanically Operated Carousels

 Fair-Type Games and Gaming Activities Hayrides (conducted for amusement purposes only) 


TJ Brown

Download Media Release COVID-19 - September 18, 2020 (PDF)

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