Statewide curfew went into effect Friday after a rowdy week

Statewide curfew went into effect Friday after a rowdy week
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North Carolina’s 10 p.m. curfew went into effect Friday night in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19. Despite the rising numbers and concern from health officials, it was a busy week for Charlotte’s nightlife scene — more videos of crowded dance floors and a few citations from CMPD.

  • Four businesses were cited for violating Governor Cooper’s executive order on the weekend of December 4: Hoppin’ (twice), Lost & Found, Slingshot, and Fantasy Lounge. Three of the four are located within a two-block stretch of South End. Two businesses were cited for violating the order on the weekend of December 11: Slingshot and Section at Recess.
  • Temporary closures: On Dec. 7, Lost & Found announced it would close temporarily. On Dec. 15, Slingshot told the Agenda it would close temporarily after losing its liquor permit. “We are closed for the time being and, with help from attorneys, trying to figure out the best way to reopen as soon as possible,” said Slingshot general manager Justin Hovey.
  • WSOC reported on Dec. 8 that Hoppin’ and Lost & Found both received warning letters from the ABC board that said they were operating in violation of Governor Cooper’s executive order and could lose their liquor licenses if they did not comply.
  • Hoppin’ remains open for outdoor service and provided a 700-word statement to WBTV. “Last I checked this is still America and our customers come to Hoppin’ because they have the freedom to make their own decisions, not to be controlled by a tyrant governor,” it reads in part.
  • On Thursday, the last night before the curfew, videos emerged of a crowded dance floor at QC Social Lounge, an Uptown nightclub. When I reached out to owner James Nguyen, he declined to comment, saying he wanted to speak with his partner and managers first. Nguyen did confirm that the club’s Friday night event had be canceled in accordance with Cooper’s order. QC Social is now closed until further notice, according to its Instagram bio.
  • During a Friday press conference, county health director Gibbie Harris showed a clip of the QC Social video. She recommended that all individuals present on Thursday night to quarantine for 14 days. “I would be very surprised, with the amount of Covid virus we have in our community, if there was not Covid in that space last night,” Harris said.

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The big picture: Mecklenburg County has confirmed more than 50,000 cases of coronavirus. Nearly 500 people have died here. The daily numbers are soaring. But businesses need people, and people are restless. Officials decided not to impose tighter local restrictions, Harris said, because they “don’t want to close down our businesses unnecessarily.”

It’s a recipe for frustration, for scenes that spark outrage, for state restrictions that last longer, and for continued surge of the virus before the holidays.

“At times I feel like the Grinch or maybe Scrooge,” Harris said on Friday. “This is one year … where we’re asking people to do things differently so that they’ll have more years in the future.”


For more details on the statewide curfew, here’s our explainer.

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