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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

Mecklenburg County Issues 'Stay At Home' Order Starting Thursday Morning

Mecklenburg County Commissioners
Dena Diorio announces that Mecklenburg County issuing a "stay at home" order.

Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio said the county, city and the six towns have agreed to issue a "stay at home" order starting at 8 a.m. Thursday.

Diorio said there will be some exceptions to the order. People will still be able to go to the pharmacy and grocery stores. They also will be able to get take-out food.

But all “nonessential” travel is now prohibited until midnight April 16.

“You can go see a health care professional, you can go to a restaurant for food,” she said. “You can go outside to take a walk. But you can’t go to work unless you provide essential services. You can’t visit loved ones.”

She said the county order will be modeled after stay at home orders from San Francisco and Illinois.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Mecklenburg county was reporting 142 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That’s about a quarter of the total number of confirmed cases in North Carolina. Diorio says modeling shows that the number of cases in the state could double every two days.

“Eighty percent of the cases in the county are below the age of 59, which is an indication that older residents are heeding the warning to stay at home while younger residents are not,” Diorio said. 

Local hospital systems Atrium Health and Novant Health support the order, according to the county.

Full details on the order can be found here

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Steve Harrison is WFAE's politics and government reporter. Prior to joining WFAE, Steve worked at the Charlotte Observer, where he started on the business desk, then covered politics extensively as the Observer’s lead city government reporter. Steve also spent 10 years with the Miami Herald. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.
Claire Donnelly is WFAE's health reporter. She previously worked at NPR member station KGOU in Oklahoma and also interned at WBEZ in Chicago and WAMU in Washington, D.C. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and attended college at the University of Virginia, where she majored in Comparative Literature and Spanish. Claire is originally from Richmond, Virginia. Reach her at cdonnelly@wfae.org or on Twitter @donnellyclairee.
Gwendolyn is an award-winning journalist who has covered a broad range of stories on the local and national levels. Her experience includes producing on-air reports for National Public Radio and she worked full-time as a producer for NPR’s All Things Considered news program for five years. She worked for several years as an on-air contract reporter for CNN in Atlanta and worked in print as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun Media Group, The Washington Post and covered Congress and various federal agencies for the Daily Environment Report and Real Estate Finance Today. Glenn has won awards for her reports from the Maryland-DC-Delaware Press Association, SNA and the first-place radio award from the National Association of Black Journalists.