Gov. Roy Cooper closes schools through May 15; orders gyms, hair salons, movie theaters to close

Illustration created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Gov. Roy Cooper announced today that North Carolina K-12 public schools will remain closed to in-person instruction through at least May 15, and has ordered businesses such as hair and nail salons, gyms and movie theaters to close by 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Across the state, grocery stores and restaurants offering pickup and delivery will be allowed to remain open.

North Carolina coronavirus cases climbed to 297 in 45 counties on Monday. More than 8,400 people have been tested, with thousands more awaiting results, Cooper said in a Monday afternoon news conference.

As of Monday afternoon, no individuals in Dare County have tested positive for coronavirus.

Medical providers in Dare County continue to test patients who are symptomatic and meet criteria for testing which includes: fever of 100.4 or greater, cough and symptoms of respiratory illness. Dare County Health and Human Services and Vidant Health, which operates The Outer Banks Hospital, have declined to release the number of tests performed locally, citing patient privacy.

Locally, the Dare County Control Group met Monday morning, March 23 to receive an update regarding COVID-19 and discuss issues related to the health and safety of our community.

Currently, all critical services including law enforcement, Emergency Medical Services, and healthcare, including the Outer Banks Hospital are operational and able to meet the needs of our residents. Essential supplies, including food and water, continue to be delivered to local stores. Residents should continue to purchase food, supplies, and medications as they need them but remember if you do go out, stay at least six feet from others at all times.

“It is imperative that we all do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and everyone is asked to refrain from unnecessary travel. The actions you take now to prevent the spread will have a direct impact on our entire community,” Dare County officials said in a statement.

“The only way to protect family, friends and neighbors who are at high risk is to stay home and avoid all nonessential contact with others. Limit trips for groceries, gas, and other essentials. If you must go out, stay at least 6 feet from others at all times. It cannot be stressed enough that staying home and limiting unnecessary travel is the most effective way to control the spread of this virus.”

Director of Health and Human Service Sheila Davies on maintaining your physical and mental health:

It is understandable that the outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and our community stronger. We have recently released two videos that address physical and mental well being.

Message from Dare County Schools Superintendent Dr. John Farrelly for Monday, March 23:

These videos can be found on Dare County’s YouTube Channel. If you or your child/teen need help with the stress or anxiety you are facing, there are resources in our county to assist. Please call PORT Health at 252.441.2324 or Trillium Health Resources at 877.685.2415.