Kill Devil Hills Considering Mandatory Face Masks to Fight COVID-19 Spread

Posted By on June 9, 2020

The Kill Devil Hills Board of Commissioners discussed the possibility of a mandatory requirement that everyone where a cloth face covering anytime they are in public within the town to help slow the spread of COVID-19 at Monday’s (6/8/20) board meeting, which was once again held electronically over Zoom and broadcast live on social media.

Commissioner Terry Gray said he has been contacted by a number of businesses in the area with concerns that there has been an increase in the amount of positive COVID-19 tests that North Carolina is experiencing currently.

“I’ve been requested to bring forward at least an initiative that mandatory mask wearing be something that possibly (KDH Mayor Ben Sproul) can take to the (Dare County) Control Group or at least communicate with the county chairman and see if we can get some traction on that,” Gray said during Monday’s meeting.

Kill Devil Hills Mayor Ben Sproul said he has heard from Nags Head Mayor Ben Cahoon that Nags Head’s board is also considering mandatory mask wearing.

“It was discussed in the Control Group,” Sproul said, “and the chairman changed a mandatory status to highly recommended in the most recent change. So it is possible that we can work in that direction as a town if that is the feeling of the board.”

“I will say that I have a bit of a mixed feeling on it,” Sproul continued. “On one hand, obviously it would be best if more mask wearing was happening. I think science supports that as being helpful to health and safety. On the other hand, it’s a very difficult thing to enforce and when people want things that are difficult to enforce enforced, they will call and we as a town have a history of being kind of complaint driven, which isn’t ideal. I think in this case it kind of sets up conflict with people. Anyway, there are some down sides to it. let’s just say that. That said, I’m just one person, and certainly there are a lot of people out there who think a mandatory mask move would be a good idea.”

Gray added, “The thing that kind of sparked …some of the thought process is that in Virginia they have mandatory mask wearing and their numbers are going down, and in North Carolina the numbers are going up.”

Sproul later agreed, “I definitely see that the positive side of mask wearing is pretty undeniable.”

Town Attorney Casey Varnell explained that if the county adopts an order, it would apply specifically to the county (unincorporated Dare), but if the town wants to move in its own direction in requiring masks, Kill Devil Hills would need to adopt its own declaration regarding that. “Any order adopted by a county is only effective as to its unincorporated limits,” he said. “(In) any incorporated limits …county orders actually do not apply in emergency situations.”

Sproul said he would connect with Nags Head’s mayor further as to what they plan to do. “If we speak with one voice through several municipalities, a coordinated effort certainly would be more ideal.”

Commissioner Ivy Ingram, expressed her support for mandatory mask wearing, while Commissioner B.J. McAvoy said that while he recognizes the clear benefits to mask wearing, he would be hesitant to make it “mandatory.” Commissioner John Windley said he supports the idea of a coordinated effort with county and all municipalities regarding mask wearing, including clear instructions on how businesses should handle people who flat out refuse to comply.

The commissioners agreed that they will discuss the issue further at their recessed meeting at Town Hall this Wednesday, June 10.

The board also consented that Kill Devil Hills will look into providing window clings urging mask wearing to businesses within the town.


Posted by Matt Artz

This article has 17 comments

  1. I live in Virginia and visit OBX whenever possible. When and if I can visit before everyone is vaccinated, I will be wearing a mask. I’m glad to do it. It is a show of respect to others and especially to people that have to work and don’t have the choice of staying home.

  2. Won’t happen and I will not comply with this hysteria! This is Mother Nature thinning the herd. You may delay but you cannot prevent. This is still no worse that the annual flu! Stop the insanity sheeple!

    • It is simply selfish not to wear a cloth face mask in public during this pandemic. By not wearing one, you are not being a good neighbor and knowingly threatening the health of your fellow community members.

      • It is simply selfish to demand others to wear a cloth face mask in public during this pandemic. By wearing one, you are not being a good neighbor and knowingly threatening the rights and freedoms of your fellow community members.

        • It’s in the community’s best interest to wear a cloth face mask in public. It’s not about you, it’s about being considerate to everyone else you may get close to.

      • Wearing of masks with the consistency in which people are using it in fact puts all of us in danger. Having people constantly touching their face and a week old piece of fabric filled with all types of viruses, bacteria, and mold over their mouths will spread disease… not prevent it it. And you “community members” who absent-mindlessly dictate works like selfish and respect should spend more time educating yourself than preaching unquestioned “scripture”.

        • The health and science experts agree that mask wearing helps slow the spread of the virus. No one is “preaching unquestioned scripture”, just trying to slow the spread and save lives. You don’t have to touch your face in order to wear a mask, and they should be washed after each use. Refusing to wear one is putting your fellow community members in danger. It’s not about you, it’s about being considerate to everyone else you may get close to.

    • The annual flu does not kill 110000 and growing. When the numbers are rising here why is it a big deal to try and slow it down. You can spread this virus before you even know you have it. The medical here sucks and could not handle a large outbreak. Many year round residents are over 65 and should be respected.
      Just bad attitude not to care for others. NO ONE is Amunne!!

  3. Will not do it. I will wear it when asked by a business. But that is it. I get closterphobic. I wear glasses and wont be able to see as well. Not happening for me .
    Its enough.. trying to control people. You have millions protesting and nobody is dying by the thousands.
    Yes numbers will go up as visitors have arrived. By 10 in 1 month.. and nobody died. My goodness they caught the flu which is still apart of covid which myself and many others had it in Dec, Jan, and Feb.
    It is time to open up 100%.
    Its enough.

    • It’s not about you, it’s about being considerate to everyone else you may get close to. The majority of the protesters are wearing masks, but yes, the numbers are expected to spike again as a result of the mass gatherings. Thank you for at least complying to help keep businesses safer, but a cloth face mask should always be worn in public at this time. I am very claustrophobic too, and they are sometimes uncomfortable for all of us, but it’s the right thing to do if you care about the safety of other people. No one is trying to “control” anybody, just trying to slow the spread and save lives.

      • Yes it is not about me or anyone in fact. I am at the age where people are getting it..
        What it truly is about is that each and every person has a right to make a choice for themselves. And nobody can dictate it. I go into businesses and i will wear a mask for other people. And respect the business decision of mandatory mask. But as for sitting on the beach, walking outside.. Or businesses that don’t require it. I am personally not comfortable with wearing one. And i don’t have to defend my decision just like the person who is wearing one they don’t have to defend there decision. That does not make someone insensitive or selfish. Its just the plain truth of the real world.
        And if numbers were going to explode due to the protesting we are 16 days in.. It would have started a week ago. With uncontrollable numbers. And some are not wearing a mask and some have it under there chin or nose… And people screaming and chanting as a herd on top of one another . Guarantee those mask do nothing..
        The fact is you will have 50% of people follow the order and 50% won’t. So nothing will change. And that is acceptance of what real life is.

  4. Dare county dropped the face mask requirement early last month when they opened up the bridge. Thought is was a mistake then. KDH needs to make it a requirement and enforce it. If it can’t be enforced then its just pie in the sky verbiage.

  5. Being pregnant with an autoimmune disease during this time is extremely terrifying!!! I’m having to return to work of about 25 employees where only one person is wearing a mask and we have to work extremely close to each other due to the type of work we do. I pray that all of dare county puts this in place because I am terrified to go back to work but unfortunately I have no choice. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ENFORCE THIS IN ALL DARE COUNTY TOWNS!!

  6. Everyone has their own personal opinions..I wear a mask in business but that is it..If you really want to know what you need to do is get right with your maker…This is just a taste of what’s in store for the next few years if all this is freaking you out then alot of you are in for a big surprise..


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