Gov. Cooper issues stay-at-home order amid N.C. COVID-19 case increase


Coronavirus Update: Gov. Cooper issues stay-at-home order amid N.C. COVID-19 case increase. Photo by Caitlyn Dark, graphic by Lauren Wessell.

Caitlyn Dark, News Editor

Raleigh, N.C. — State and local authorities continue efforts to slow the exponential spread of COVID-19. One such effort was an official stay-at-home order announced by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper last Friday afternoon.

The stay-at-home order continues to enforce many current efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, such as closing restaurant dining rooms and strongly encouraging participation in social distancing. This order also strengthens the ban on large gatherings, this time lowering the limit to groups of 10 or more people.

The new order also puts stricter restrictions on how people can move about in public spaces. Permitted reasons for a person to leave their home during this order are limited to seeking or providing medical care, travel to and from work, single-person outdoor activities geared towards exercise and getting necessary supplies such as groceries and other household supplies.

Overall, this state-wide stay-at-home order will restrict operational hours for all except businesses declared as ‘essential’ to daily survival. A more in-detail breakdown of what services count as ‘essential businesses’ and will continue to operate under the new order can be found here.

Many N.C. cities and counties have already released stay-at-home or shelter in place orders for their citizens, following similar guidelines for restrictions of social interaction. With each order, it is emphasized that these social distancing methods are meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 so as to not overwhelm the healthcare system and reduce the risk of the more vulnerable members of the population contracting the virus.

Rates of COVID-19 in N.C. have risen sharply since the first case was reported in the state on March 3. As of March 28, the number of reported cases totaled 1,016. As the numbers continue to rise, it is strongly encouraged that people continue with social distancing and isolation measures to help reduce the rate of virus transmission.

The current stay-at-home order for all of N.C. is set to begin this Monday at 5 p.m., lasting for thirty days and ending on April 29. It is unknown at this time if there are any plans to extend the order past this date.