Governor issues stay-at-home order for all of North Carolina

Gov. Roy Cooper screen grab March 27 news conference.

Gov. Roy Cooper on Friday issued a stay-at-home order for all of North Carolina beginning Monday at 5 p.m.

The governor’s order directs people to stay at home except to visit essential businesses, to exercise outdoors or to help a family member. Specifically, the order bans gatherings of more than 10 people and directs everyone to physically stay at least six feet apart from others.

Violating the order, which remains in effect until April 29, is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

“It’s what we have to do to save lives,” Cooper said at a 4 p.m. news conference.

At of Friday, the state counted 763 cases of coronavirus in at least 60 counties, with three deaths.

“North Carolina is now considered by the Centers for Disease Control to have widespread transmission,” Cooper said. “Because no one is immune, because there is no vaccination, the best scientifically proven tool we have to slow the spread is to keep our distance.”

Cooper said he understands the order will cause further hardships for many of the state’s workers, and said the first round of unemployment benefits in North Carolina will go out next week.

The governor’s executive order follows a Dare County announcement earlier in the day ordering a stay-home order beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday.

The governor’s full order is available HERE.

Unless noted in the order, previous closures and orders stand as written as do local government orders in cities and counties. Frequently Asked Questions about the Order can be found HERE.

If you do not think your business is included in the essential services list, and you think it should be, you may apply online at the NC Department of Revenue to be designated essential HERE. Until your exemption is reviewed, you may operate as long as your business can accommodate social distancing in your workplace.

For more information about health recommendations and who is designated at high risk for becoming seriously ill, please visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus and NCDHHS’ website at www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus.

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Kari Pugh is digital director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach her at [email protected]