CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Wednesday that the state’s modified “Stay at Home” order has been extended another month.
Cooper announced that the Executive Order will continue until Feb. 28, 2021. The order was set to expire on Friday.
Even though data trajectory shared by N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen is leveling, Cooper says the data remains high.
“While it is good to see our numbers decreasing and stabilizing, they remain too high,” Cooper said. “We need to keep up our efforts to slow the spread of the virus.”
Cohen said COVID-19 hospitalizations, percent positives and case numbers have stabilized since the holiday spike.
“We are past the spike from the holidays but we are still at the worrisome level,” Cohen said.
Cooper says the extended modified “Stay at Home” order is to give the state more time to fight the spread of COVID-19.
The Stay at Home Order requires people to be home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
“Our COVID numbers are stabilizing. We are charting a path forward, but we still have work to do,” Cooper said. “If we work to keep ourselves and others safe, we will defeat this virus and move to better times ahead.”
The governor also extended the eviction moratorium which will not allow evictions during this portion of the pandemic.
“Health experts have shown us that keeping people in their homes is an important way to slow the spread of the virus,” Cooper said. “An eviction moratorium is important as we stay under a modified ‘Stay at Home’ order.’”
Businesses are also permitted to allow to-go and delivery sales for mixed alcohol through March 31.
Most businesses will be required to close by 10 p.m. Cooper said onsite alcohol consumption sales must end at 9 p.m.
Establishments that are subject to the modified “Stay at Home” 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.
Retail businesses that sell groceries, medication, health care supplies, and fuel may remain open between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Service at restaurants, breweries, distilleries, and wineries may continue for take-out and delivery after 10 p.m. Customers may enter restaurants, breweries, distilleries, and wineries to pick up take-out orders after 10 p.m.
The restrictions do not apply to work travel, grocery shopping, seeking medical attention, other essential services, caring for loved ones, traveling in/out of state, religious services and anyone homeless.
Movies, live entertainment performances, and entertainment events must cease or pause no later than 10 p.m.
There is an exception to the 10 p.m. cut-off time for professional and collegiate athletic events that are already scheduled during the effective period of this order.
Third-party delivery services, such as Instacart, UberEats and DoorDash may continue to operate during the Night-Time Closure Period. Employees of these businesses may report to and from work and perform work duties as required by their employer during the Stay at Home Period.
“With these additional actions, we hope to get our numbers down,” Cooper said. “Our top priority is, and must be, saving lives and keeping our healthcare system from being overwhelmed. This is truly a matter of life or death.”
What are the major changes under this Order?
Under this Order:
- Certain businesses and facilities are ordered to close to the public between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. (the “Night-Time Public Closure Period”). This includes restaurants (with exceptions for take-out and delivery), bars, entertainment venues, parks, museums and aquariums, certain retail establishments, and other businesses and facilities specified below and in the Order.
- All individuals in North Carolina must stay at home or the place they will remain for the night between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. (the “Stay at Home Period”), unless an exception applies.
- The sale and service of alcoholic beverages is prohibited for on-site consumption between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
- Events or convenings outside of the home must end by 10:00 p.m. and guests must leave the establishment and travel home or to the place where they will stay for the night.
- The capacity limitations on certain businesses, indoor and outdoor gathering limits, and other public health measures implemented by previous executive orders are extended through January 8, 2021.
What remains the same under this Order?
Under this Order:
- The gathering limits remain at ten (10) individuals for indoor settings and fifty (50) individuals for outdoor settings.
- The limitations on certain businesses, sanitation standards, and other public health restrictions outlined in the Phase 3 Executive Order and NCDHHS Guidance remain in effect.
- A face covering is still required in all public indoor settings if there are nonhousehold members present, regardless of the individual’s ability to maintain social distance. Face coverings continue to be required in public outdoor settings if individuals are unable to maintain six feet of social distance from non-household members.
- Retail business locations with more than 15,000 square feet of interior space must continue to have a worker at each entrance open to the public, who is responsible for enforcing the executive orders’ face covering and capacity limitations.
This order does not close a business completely as establishments may remain open during the Night-Time Public Closure Period for workers, and may otherwise conduct their business and operations, as long as no guests are admitted onto the premises.
Patrons who refuse to exit an establishment after being asking to leave may be subject to criminal trespass prosecution.
If a worker’s presence is required by his or her employer, that worker may remain on the premises and conduct their normal business operations during the Night-Time Public Closure Period, as long as no clients or customers are permitted onto the premises. Individuals may leave their home or place where they are staying to travel to or from work.
Workplace events and functions that are outside of normal business operations must cease between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.
Individuals are not required to show documentation that they fall within an exception to the Stay at Home Order.
Using or providing shared transportation services, such as taxicabs, rideshare services, buses, and trains, is not prohibited during the Stay at Home Period.
Individuals experiencing homelessness are exempt from this order.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 99.8% of all first doses received by the state were reported as being administered and 859,695 total doses have been administered.
The state is expecting 120,000 doses each week.
Health officials say vaccine supply continues to be very low and the state is hopeful for more vaccine to be on the way.
On a call with Governor Cooper and other governors Tuesday, the Biden Administration committed to increasing vaccine shipments to the states by 16 percent over the next 3 weeks.
On Tuesday, NCDHHS expanded its vaccine data dashboard to provide information about vaccine doses allocated to and received by the state and updated guidance to ensure equitable distribution and speed of administration.
North Carolinians can find out when they will be eligible to get their vaccine through a new online tool, Find My Vaccine Group. The screener walks users through a series of questions to determine which vaccine group they fall in. Learn more about North Carolina’s vaccine rollout at YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov.
On January 23, NCDHHS reported the first identified case of B.1.1.7 COVID-19 Variant in North Carolina. Early data suggest that this variant may be more contagious than other variants and state health officials continue to recommend staying at home when possible and practicing the 3 “W’s:” Wear a face covering, Wait 6 feet apart and Wash your hands.