Manager at day spa charged with violating state’s stay-at-home order

According to CMPD, workers at the Cool Cave Spa were warned to shut down at least three times before a manager was cited.

The manager of a southeast Charlotte day spa was cited for violating North Carolina’s stay-at-home order – possibly the first person in Mecklenburg County to face such legal action since the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) identified the manager as Cheree-Alexia Hercule, 28.

According to an email sent to local media, CMPD got a tip informing the department that the spa, at 5533 Monroe Road, was doing business in violation of Gov. Roy Cooper’s order that all nonessential business shut down to curb the spread of COVID-19. The order specifically mentions services that require social contact, such as hair and nail salons, barbershops and spas.

As of 2 p.m. Friday, county health officials had reported 533 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and three COVID-related death. The state, meanwhile, had reported 1,857 confirmed cases and 16 deaths.

CMPD said officers first went to the Cool Cave Spa on Wednesday to notify employees that they were in violation of the state order. Officers returned later that day and then again on Thursday and found the spa was still in business, according to CMPD.

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Hercule was issued a citation for violating Emergency Prohibitions and Restrictions under NCGS 14-288.20A(2). As recently as Wednesday, CMPD officials said the department had not cited any business or individual for violating the order, choosing, instead, to encourage voluntary compliance.

“The CMPD is continuing to manage the order through voluntary compliance, but the department will enforce violations through citations and/or misdemeanor arrests if voluntary cooperation is not gained,” the department said in the statement.

County resident can report violations through the CLT+ mobile app, online at www.cmpd.org, or by calling 311.