Above: Governor Roy Cooper orders state-wide shutdown on Friday afternoon — the order is to take effect Monday. (Port City Daily/File)
RALEIGH — After a coy press conference early in the week where Governor Roy Cooper alluded to ‘more restrictions’ his office planned to implement, on Friday the governor ordered a statewide lockdown.
Cooper said enforcement of the order would begin on Monday at 5 p.m. and would have the ‘force of law.’ Cooper noted that the CDC considered North Carolina to have “widespread community transmission,” meaning a significant number of patients did not know how they had contracted Covid-19. The order is in effect until April 29 (although it can be terminated early, or extended).
As with previous executive orders, Cooper said he hoped that residents would comply without the need for enforcement by local police departments and Sheriff’s Offices. Cooper added his guidance to local law enforcement was to encourage people to comply with the executive order without citations or arrests. However, Cooper said if it was necessary law enforcement would be empowered to both arrest and prosecute violations of the stay-home order. Violations of the executive order are considered a Class 2 misdemeanor.
You can find a FAQ on the stay home order here.
Cooper said that essential businesses would stay open, but would be directed to institute “strong social distancing practices.” (More on what counts as an essential business here).
Essential businesses include many exemptions to the shutdown. The list below covers most of the categories; detailed descriptions are included in the executive order itself, which you can find at the end of this article.
The main categories of ‘essential businesses’ are:
- Businesses that meet ‘social distancing’ requirements
- Critical infrastructure sectors
- Healthcare and public health operations
- Human services (including child care, senior care, etc.)
- Essential infrastructure (including food and beverage production, construction, utilities, and more)
- Essential government operations
- Grocery stores, pharmacies, pet supplies, farmers markets
- Charitable care and social services
- Religious entities
- Journalists, media services
- Gas stations, auto repair
- Financial, insurance
- Home improvement, hardware stores
- Critical trades (building, construction, repair, HVAC, etc.)
- Post and delivery
- Laundry services
- Restaurants (take-out and delivery only)
- Transportation (trains, planes, and automobiles, rental and commercial)
- Professional services (engineering, legal counsel, accounting, etc.)
- Funeral services (with limitations on gatherings to under 10)
- Hotels and motels
- Additional ‘essential’ retail: cellphone/smartphone and electronic retailer, lawn and garden, books stores (that sell educational material), beer, wine, and liquor stores, gas station convenience stores, and pet and feed stores
Read the complete Executive Order No. 121, which includes details on ‘essential businesses’ exempt from the mandatory closures, below: