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Cooper announces statewide stay at home order

Gov. Roy Cooper ordered people in the state of North Carolina to stay at home for 30 days, until April 29, in another step to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Cooper’s Executive Order No. 121 takes effect at 5 p.m. Monday and reduces the size of gatherings to 10 people. The Order provides for essential businesses to continue to operate while prioritizing social distancing measures. The Order has the force of law and will be enforced in all 100 counties statewide.

“To continue our aggressive battle against COVID-19, I have signed a Stay at Home Order for the entire state of North Carolina. Though it is difficult we must do this to slow the disease spread,” said Cooper. “We need our medical system to be able to care for the friends and family we know will become seriously ill from the virus.”

The governor noted Friday that three North Carolinians have died due to COVID-19 and the state has 763 confirmed cases of the virus in 60 counties. He called on all North Carolinians to protect themselves by staying home and following social distancing guidelines. North Carolina is now considered to have widespread transmission of the virus, which means people who have tested positive cannot trace where they were exposed to the virus.

The 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.

“I know this order may lead to even more hardship and heartache. Although we are physically apart, we must take this step together in spirit,” Cooper said.

Unless noted in the order, previous closures and orders stand as written as do local government orders in cities and counties.

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. 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, visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus and NCDHHS’ website at www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus.

How Does a Stay at Home Order Affect Stanly County?

The Stanly County Health Department released further information.

Residents should stay in their homes except for the following:
● Health and Safety – going to the doctor and picking up medicine.
● Needed Supplies and Services – getting food and supplies for daily living
● Outdoor Activities – exercise that allows for staying 6 feet away from each other; playground equipment should be closed.
● Certain Types of Work – healthcare and public health, essential government functions, human services (DSS); ask your employer to find out if your work is affected.
● To Take Care of Others – care for a family member, friend, or pet in another household or to transport them.

Current guidelines from the state also change mass gathering restrictions to no more than 10 people.

“We understand this is an inconvenience, but these measures will help save lives by further preventing the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, we urge our community to do its part during this difficult time,” Stanly County Health Director David Jenkins said.