The Winston-Salem Police Department posted an online form Monday where residents can report suspected violations of stay-home or social-distancing restrictions.

Residents are asked to give their name, address, phone number and email address as well the locations where they believe people are violating the restrictions.

The form warns complainants that officers won’t be able to personally respond to every notification. It also reminds people that many businesses fall into the category of “essential,” meaning they are allowed to remain open under statewide and city orders to stay home or shut down.

Police Lt. John Morris said that officers responded over the weekend to nearly ten 911 calls on each evening shift from residents who reported that businesses might be violating the provision that limits gatherings to 10 people.

“We have to make sure that they are complying,” Morris said.

“Please note that while it may appear on the surface that a particular business does not fall within exceptions in either the governor’s or mayor’s orders, the categories of ‘essential businesses’ are broad,” police said in their post. “And if a business carries on essential services as well as non-essential services, it may still fall within an exception.

“Be assured that the Winston-Salem Police Department is advising all businesses allowed to remain open of the requirements for social distancing and of the prohibition on allowing more than 10 people to gather in one area,” police said.

jhinton@wsjournal.com

336-727-7299

@jhintonWSJ

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