BIZTALK: Talking Masks With Southport's Mayor, Wilmington Chamber Chief

By Cece Nunn, posted Jul 1, 2020

Last week, the state started requiring people, with some exemptions, to wear face coverings in public to help slow the increasing spread of COVID-19.

On Wednesday’s BizTalk , Southport Mayor Joe Pat Hatem, who is also a doctor, discussed why the Brunswick County city enacted its own face covering requirement before the state did and why face coverings might make a difference, while Natalie English, president and CEO of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, talked about the impact on businesses, which could be cited if customers and workers aren’t wearing masks in their establishments.

More about the face covering requirement, including exemptions, can be found on Gov. Roy Cooper's website.

About the state face covering mandate that went into effect June 26, English said, "The challenge for business owners, and particularly small business owners who've been shut down during this pandemic, is that they're now having to police their customers, and the awkward position that puts them in, as well as the cost associated with having PPE available or face masks available for those customers who may come in without them."

The solution? "If we as individuals can take that responsibility and personally commit to wearing the masks, then it eases that burden on business owners," English said.

Hatem, who has a master's degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and whose career has included working as a doctor at Dosher Memorial Hospital in Southport, said studies have shown that wearing face coverings or masks is an effective public health measure. 

"So by wearing a mask, if I'm wearing one, I'm protecting the people around me and if they wear one, they're protecting me and they're also protecting the people around them.

"It's based on science. In public health, we have to use science to make policy but also to back up the decisions we've made. And I think there's a good bit of data that shows if you wear a mask, you decrease the transmission of this disease."

See the entire discussion below.
Ico insights


Michaelhiggins 41019104338

Preparing For The Loss Of A Spouse

Michael Higgins - Dignity Memorial

Generating Passive Income

Jason Wheeler - Pathfinder Wealth Consulting
Chris coudriet

2020 Census Count Will Guide Important Funding For Our Region – And It’s Needed Now More Than Ever

Chris Coudriet - New Hanover County Government

Trending News

Unemployment Could Remain Steady As Benefits Expire

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jul 31, 2020

In The Current Issue

Info Junkie: Amy Grant

Amy Grant, owner of Art in Bloom Gallery in downtown Wilmington, shares her top information and tech picks....

On A Roll Logging Lab Data

Jeremy Sikorski wanted to find a better way to log lab data, so he approached Daniel Summers, a software engineer, to see if he could standa...

2020 CEA Chamber Of Commerce Winners

As part of the Coastal Entrepreneur Awards program, area chambers of commerce also share their top business and organization picks....

Book On Business

The 2020 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!



2020 Leadership Accelerator: Virtual Workshops for Real Leaders
2019 Health Care Heroes
August 26, 2019 Power Breakfast: A Healthy Sale?
2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`