CHEROKEE, N.C. — The Chief of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians issued an Executive Order requiring residents and visitors to wear masks in most public places.
Principal Chief Richard Sneed said that several people have tested positive within tribal lands in Western North Carolina, and they had recently recorded the first death from COVID-19.
"These unfortunate events are prompting us to impose more stringent requirements to protect the safety and welfare of our tribal citizens and community members," he said.
Beginning on Friday, June 26, everyone 12 years or older must wear a face covering in all indoor retails establishments, businesses, restaurants, libraries, and common areas of hotels and campgrounds.
There are a few exceptions to the order:
- While eating in restaurants
- While in your designated camping area
- For reasons related to a medical conditon or disability
- In private offices
- Areas in businesses not open to the public
- When complying with law enforcement officers
- In settings where it is not practical
You do not have to wear masks in outdoor shared spaces, like sidewalks, Island Park, or playgrounds, but the chief urges people to practice social distancing in those areas.
Cherokee, located on the eastern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and home to Harrah's Cherokee Casino is a popular tourist destination.