North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced a modified stay-at-home order on Tuesday as COVID-19 numbers remain at a record-high.
“As cases across the country continue to rise, we’ve seen rapid increases in our key metrics here in North Carolina,” Cooper said during a press conference. “Our case counts have broken single-day records on three separate days in just the last week, and the percent of tests returning positive has increased to more than ten percent.”
A concerning trend with half of the state “in the red” and the governor warning that further actions may be needed soon. As of now, the governor’s executive order will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11. with the restrictions set to expire at 5 p.m. on Jan. 8.
“This modified stay-at-home order aims to limit gatherings and get people home where they are safer, especially during the holidays,” Cooper said. “It’s also a reminder that we must be vigilant the rest of the days — wearing a mask, keeping a safe distance from people we don’t live with and washing our hands a lot.”
The key points of Cooper’s order are most businesses will be required to close at 10 p.m., people are asked to stay at home between the hours of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., and alcohol sales will cease statewide at 9 p.m.
Businesses subject to the order include “amusement parks and amusement transportation; bars, lounges, indoor venues, and arenas; fitness and physical activity facilities, movie theaters, meeting spaces, and other entertainment facilities; museums and aquariums; parks; personal care businesses; restaurants, breweries, distilleries, and wineries; and certain retail businesses.”
The exception will be establishments that sell groceries, medication, health care supplies, and fuel. They’ll be allowed to remain open between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
The restrictions do not apply to people traveling to work, taking care of a loved one, grocery shopping, picking up take-out food orders, seeking medical attention, using mass transit (air/bus/taxi travel), participating in religious gatherings, and those needing other essential services. Third-party delivery services, such as Shipt, DoorDash, and UberEats may continue to operate during the “inactive” time. Any collegiate athletic events that are already scheduled during the effective period are also exempt from the order.
Tuesday was the 12th-straight day of record-high coronavirus hospitalizations in North Carolina at 2,376. There have been 405,000 coronavirus cases in the state and 5,642 deaths since March.