Gov. Roy Cooper issues stay-at-home order for NC

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RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) — In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor
Roy Cooper has issued a stay-at-home order for the state of North Carolina.

“To continue our aggressive battle to slow the spread of COVID-19 today I have signed a stay-at-home order for the entire state of NC,” Cooper said.

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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.

It begins at 5 p.m Monday but he urges people to start as soon as they can.

The Governor noted today that three North Carolinians have died due to COVID-19 and the state has 763 confirmed cases of the virus in 60 counties.  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,” Governor Cooper said.

According to the Order, essential businesses and operations includes the following businesses, not-for-profit organizations and educational institutions:

  • Businesses that meet social distancing requirements
  • Businesses operating in CISA identified sectors
  • Healthcare and public health operations
  • Human services operations
  • Essential infrastructure operations
  • Essential governmental operations
  • Stores that sell groceries and medicine
  • Food, beverage production and agriculture
  • Organizations that provide charitable and social services
  • Religious entitites
  • Media
  • Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation
  • Financial and insurance institutions
  • Home improvement, hardware and supply stores
  • Critical trades,
  • Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery, and pick-up services
  • Educational institutions
  • Laundry services
  • Restaurants for consumption off-premises
  • Supplies to work from home
  • Supplies for COVID-19 essential businesses and operations
  • Transportation
  • Home-bases care and services
  • Residential facilities and shelters
  • Professional services
  • Manufacture, distribution, and supply chain for critical products and industries
  • Defense and military contractors
  • hotels and motels
  • Funeral services
  • Additional COVID-19 essential retail businesses, which include electronic retailers that sell cell phones, book stores that sell educational material, beer, wine, and liquor stores, gas stations and convenience stores, pet and feed stores, lawn and garden equipment retailers

Senator Thom Tillis issued the following statement on Governor Cooper’s stay-at-home order:

“We are all in this together, and in order to protect the health of North Carolinians and get through this crisis as quickly as possible, we must all do our part to contain community spread over the next several weeks. I’ve had discussions with Governor Cooper about the challenge of protecting both the physical and economic health of the state, and the Governor made the difficult, but correct decision to issue a statewide stay-at-home order.

I’m glad this order allows essential industries to continue their important work while also providing flexibility to North Carolina businesses that are able to practice social distancing and maintain a safe and healthy work environment to protect their employees and the general public.”

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