Gov. Roy Cooper has issued a statewide "stay at home" order for North Carolina residents to slow the spread of the coronavirus. It goes into effect Monday at 5 p.m. and lasts for 30 days.
"It's what we have to do to save lives," Cooper said.
Cooper announced the order Friday at a news conference as the state's total of positive COVID-19 cases now stands at 763. Three deaths of North Carolinians have been attributed to the disease caused by the coronavirus; a fourth person from Virginia died in the state while traveling.
Under the order, people are asked to only leave home for essential work or activities like getting groceries, takeout food or medicine. The measure also bans gatherings of more than 10 people, and directs people to stay six feet apart.
Restaurants, grocery stores, healthcare providers, pharmacies, hardware stores, post offices and gas stations are among the businesses listed as “essential.”
Cooper said Friday that if residents do not voluntarily comply with the order, state and local law enforcement have the authority to enforce it.
North Carolina joins 23 other states with some kind of stay-at-home order, which equates to about 227 million people, according to the New York Times.
Mecklenburg County already had issued its own stay-at-home order that went into effect Thursday at 8 a.m. and lasts until April 16.
According to the CDC, North Carolina has the 18th-highest total of COVID-19 cases among states, and there is "widespread" community transmission. New York has the most coronavirus cases in the country, with 38,977 as of Friday afternoon. In all, there were 85,356 positive COVID-19 cases in the country Friday, according to the CDC.
The full order can be found here.
A list of frequently asked questions about the order can be found here.
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