By Nathan Ham
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced a new executive order that will institute a stay-at-home order for all North Carolina residents beginning at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 30.
“Our numbers continue to increase rapidly. This is a highly contagious virus that is deadly for some. 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 North Carolina. It’s what we have to do to save lives,” said Gov. Cooper.
All essential businesses will continue to operate and no special permits will be needed to continue to operate these businesses.
Violations of this order are punishable as a Class 2 Misdemeanor.
“We hope it doesn’t come to that but we want people to know that this is a serious order and we want people to follow that,” said Gov. Cooper.
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. 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.
What is an Essential Business?
According to Gov. Cooper’s executive order, businesses that are classified as essential include:
- Healthcare and public health operations human services operations such as long-term care facilities and childcare centers,
- Food and beverage production
- Building and grounds maintenance (including landscaping)
- Airport operations,
- Utilities maintenance and operations,
- Emergency management personnel (including first responders, emergency dispatchers law enforcement, child protection and child welfare personnel, housing personnel, military)
- Grocery stores
- Certified farmers’ markets
- Convenience stores
- Farming, livestock, fishing, forestry, and other production agriculture
- Animal shelters, rescues and adoption facilities
- Food banks
- Religious facilities
- Gas stations
- Auto Supply Stores
- Auto sales
- Tire and auto repair
- Farm, construction equipment and boat repair
- Banks, credit unions, insurance companies
- Home improvement, hardware and supply stores
- Critical trades (plumbers, electricians, exterminators, janitorial staff, security staff, HVAC, painters, cleaning services, moving and relocation services
- Mail, shopping, logistics, and delivery
- Educational institutions
- Laundry services
- Restaurants for consumption off-premises
- Office supply stores
- Transportation (including airlines, taxis, rental services, public transportation)
- Home-based care and services
- Residential facilities and shelters
- Professional services (including legal, accounting, insurance, engineering, architectural, land surveying, real estate
- Defense and military contractors
- Hotels and motels
- Funeral services
- Cell phone, computer and tablet repair
- Book stores that sell educational material
- Beer, wine and liquor stores
- Pet and feed stores