Durham Mayor Steve Schewel has shut down gyms and theaters as of 5 p.m. Friday, to curtail the spread of coronavirus.
The mayor announced Friday afternoon that he would also be canceling the city's farmers' market for tomorrow. It just draws too big a crowd when health officials are urging people to keep a safe distance, he said.
"What we know about the farmers market is that is specifically designed to have hundreds of people, come and congregate at the same place," Schewel said. "And I love the farmers market. I love to go and congregate there."
The mayor said he would entertain the idea of market organizers setting up a pick-up and delivery system as restaurants have.
Closing the farmer's market in Durham is a step above what state authorities have mandated. The Raleigh Farmers Market, for example, will stay open, though the N.C. Seafood Restaurant and State Farmers Market Restaurants both closed.
As of the last state tally Friday morning, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported 137 cases of coronavirus. Durham County had the most identified cases with 33, according to DHHS.