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Knowing the Difference Between Essential and Non-Essential Businesses as Governor Cooper’s Stay at Home Order Goes Into Effect

By Nathan Ham

At 5 p.m. today, Governor Roy Cooper’s stay at home order will go into effect as another measure being used to combat the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The order will close non-essential businesses and limit social gatherings to 10 people or less. This order will remain in effect for 30 days.

Gov. Cooper’s order does not change how people can travel. According to information provided from the governor’s office, while people are asked to keep driving to a minimum and stay home, vehicles will not be stopped by law enforcement for just being on the road. People can still drive to work without any special notes or paperwork. People can still go to grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, doctor’s offices or anywhere that will remain open as being deemed an “essential business.”

Some of the most visited essential businesses include restaurants that provide take-out, drive-thru or delivery, grocery stores, doctor’s offices, pharmacies, hardware stores, office supply stores, gas stations, vehicle maintenance shops, post offices, convenience stores, veterinarian offices, pet supply stores, funeral homes, places of worship, hotels, airlines, buses, taxis and rideshare services. A full list is available here.

Non-essential businesses include nail salons, bowling alleys, skating rinks, spas, massage parlors, hairdressers, barbershops, tanning salons, indoor/outdoor pools, bars, dine-in-only restaurants, movie theaters, gyms and tattoo parlors.