Governor Implements New COVID Restrictions As Cases Increase

Governor Implements New COVID Restrictions As Cases Increase

Governor Implements New COVID Restrictions As Cases Increase Featured

By / Local News / Tuesday, 08 December 2020 02:46

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

NEW HANOVER CTY - On Tuesday December 8th, New Hanover County reported 7,713 cases of COVID-19 for 2020 with 62 deaths. For the U.S. the total was 14,636,914 with 281,253 deceased across the nation. For North Carolina, cases for 2020 totaled 403,888 with 5,605 deaths statewide. For New Hanover, 6,436 are presumed recovered with 1,217 presumed still active.
On December 8th, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen announced that North Carolina will begin a Modified Stay at Home Order after a rapid increase in North Carolina’s key COVID-19 trends. The Order requires people to stay at home between 10 pm and 5 am and takes effect Friday, December 11 and will be in place until at least January 8, 2021.
During a press conference held on Tuesday, Cooper explained, "We already have strong safety protocols and capacity limitations in place - including a statewide mask requirement. With this additional action beginning Friday, we hope to get these numbers down."
He explained, "Our new modified Stay At Home order aims to limit gatherings and get people home where they are safer, especially during the holidays. It’s also a reminder that we must be vigilant the rest of the day - wearing a face mask when we are with people we don’t live with, keeping a safe distance from others and washing our hands a lot."
Cohen explained, "In less than a week, we went from exceeding 5,000 new cases reported in one day to exceeding 6,000. This is very worrisome. We are seeing our highest rates of tests that come back positive despite the fact we are doing a lot of testing. This indicates we have even more viral spread across our state right now. We have record numbers of hospitalizations and people in the ICU. I am asking each North Carolinian to take personal responsibility for their actions and slowing the spread of this virus. Always wear a mask when with people you don’t live with, keep your distance from other people and wash your hands often. We are looking at what further actions we can take as a state to protect North Carolinians and save lives."
The order issued by Cooper on Tuesday requires restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, personal care businesses and more to close at 10pm. Travel to and from work; to obtain food, medical care, fuel or social services; or to take care of a family member is exempted.
This Order takes effect on December 11, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. It is effective until January 8, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.
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, as noted below), 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 non-household 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.
Customers may still enter restaurants. Breweries, distilleries and wineries to pick up take-out orders after 10:00 p.m. Customers must wear a face covering and practice social distancing.
Individuals must stay at home or the place they will stay for the night from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
Individuals may leave home during the Stay at Home Period to: travel to or from a place of work; perform work at their workplace when the worker’s presence is required by the worker’s employer; travel for work purposes; obtain food, medical care, fuel, or social services; travel from a business that
closed at or
after 10:00 p.m.; travel to a business that will open at 5:00 a.m.; travel to take care of a family member, friend or pet in another household; travel to or from a religious service; travel necessary for personal safety; and travel into or out of the state.

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