Gov. Roy Cooper issues statewide ‘stay at home’ order

Gov. Roy Cooper at the Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh. Photo by Robert Clark, North State Journal

RALEIGH – Gov. Roy Cooper announced a statewide order for North Carolina residents to stay home at 4 PM today in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The executive order will take effect on Monday, March 30 at 5 PM and will remain in place for 30 days.

Gov. Cooper and members of the coronavirus task force made the announcement  at the Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh. According to the order, essential services can continue and directs businesses to use strong social distancing policies.

“To continue our aggressive battle against COVID-19, I have signed a stay at home order for the entire state of North Carolina. Though it is difficult we must do this to slow the disease spread,” said Cooper. “We need our medical system to be able to care for the friends and family we know will become seriously ill from the virus.”

The latest numbers as of today from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services have indicated that 95% of COVID-19 tests have come back negative. This accounts for the state lab as well as data from private labs in the state. N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen said both the North Carolina Medical Society and the North Carolina Healthcare Association, which represent doctors and hospitals across the state, have warned about potential shortages of supplies, equipment and hospital beds.

“I have heard from many hospitals, physicians and other clinicians about their concerns about that surge in demand and how it could overwhelm their resources and cause suffering and harm” added Cohen. 

Cooper’s full executive order can be read here