North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced Friday afternoon a stay-at-home order for state residents. The executive order takes effect at 5 p.m. Monday and will remain in effect until April 29.
The order makes North Carolina the 23rd state in the country to do so in an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Positive cases of COVID-19 passed 750 in North Carolina as of noon Friday, according to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services. Three people have died from the disease, including a Harnett County resident.
“I urge you to start as soon as you possibly can,” Cooper said. “It’s what we have to do to save lives. It has the force of law.
“It orders you to stay home except for essential activities. It bans gatherings of more than 10 people and directs everyone to stay six feet away. It allows essential services to remain open.
“These are tough directives, but I need you to take them seriously,” Cooper said.
The order directs people to stay at home, except to visit essential businesses, to exercise outdoors or to help a family member.
“I know this order may lead to even more hardship and heartache,” Cooper said. “Although we are physically apart, we must take this step together in spirit.”
This is what the order means for your daily life:
WHERE CAN I GO?
You are allowed to leave your home to take care of some essentials.
Here is a list of businesses that are allowed to remain open under the order:
Restaurants that provide take-out, drive-thru or delivery
ABC stores and beer and wine stores
Doctors and other healthcare providers
Office supply stores
Gas stations and convenience stores
Veterinarians and pet supply stores
Hotels, airlines, buses, taxis and rideshare services
Places of worship
Child care providers (that are following required NCDHHS procedures)
AM I ALLOWED TO GO TO WORK?
If you work a service deemed to be “essential” by the state, you can continue going to work. While at work, the state says employees and potential customers should practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet away from one another as often as possible.
Previously, Cooper had ordered some businesses such as barber shops, nail salons and hair salons closed Wednesday and those businesses will remain closed.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T STAY AT HOME?
The order is not optional. It is mandatory. But the order itself carries no details on what penalties violators could face. Under North Carolina’s criminal code, disobeying the order of law enforcement or first responders could result in a fine of up to $50,000.
Making false reports to law enforcement can result in a Class 2 misdemeanor.
HAS THIS ORDER BEEN USED ELSEWHERE TO LIMIT THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS?
California became the first state in the U.S. to issue a shelter-in-place order on March 19. Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Louisiana, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Idaho, Hawaii, New Hampshire and Washington also have issued statewide shelter-in-place orders.
IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STAY-AT-HOME AND LOCKDOWN?
In the U.S., there is technically a difference in the use of the term. Stay-at-home orders deal with outside hazards and emergencies like the release of chemical or biological contaminants or even inclement weather.
Lockdown orders are issued when there is a physical hostile threat, such as an active shooter.
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