RALEIGH, N.C. (WAVY) — In an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has issued a statewide “stay at home” order, which goes into effect Monday at 5 p.m. and lasts for 30 days, until April 29.

As of Monday, the state health department reported 1,307 cases, 6 deaths and 137 hospitalizations.

Cooper announced Friday during a press conference the only time you should leave your house is for activities considered essential, such as:

For health and safety

  • Seeking emergency services
  • Obtaining medical supplies or medications
  • Visiting a health care professional of veterinarian (no groomers)

For necessary supplies and services:

  • Food and other groceries, household supplies, automobile supplies

Outdoor activity

  • Contact sports and other team activities are prohibited (basketball, etc.), but running, walking and hiking are allowed, as long as people spread out at least 6 feet. Golf courses are also allowed to remain open if people keep their distance from others.

Visiting friends and family

The order states you are allowed to visit family, but the state is discouraging visits if “there is no urgent need.” Gatherings of 10 or more people are not allowed, and families should avoid going to other families’ homes, having cookouts, etc. where people could possibly spread the virus from one family unit to another.

If you’re a caregiver for someone, you’re asked to maintain proper physical distance from that person if possible.

The following businesses can remain open:

  • Restaurants that provide take-out, drive-thru, or delivery
  • Grocery stores
  • ABC stores and beer and wine stores
  • Doctors and other healthcare providers
  • Pharmacies
  • Hardware stores
  • Post offices
  • Office supply stores
  • Gas stations and convenience stores
  • Veterinarians and pet supply stores
  • Hotels, airlines, buses, taxis, and rideshare services
  • Places of worship
  • Child care providers (that are following the required NCDHHS procedures) 

For more details on what is allowed and not during the stay at home order, click here.

State leaders are preparing to see a surge of patients and are working to make overflow hospitals with the help of the Army Corps of Engineers.

“North Carolina is now considered by the CDC to have widespread transmission, meaning that some people who tested positive don’t know how they got it,” Cooper said.

Cooper says he “has the force of law” to enforce the order, but the state is hoping people will voluntarily adhere to the directives.

Violations could lead to a class 2 misdemeanor, but some North Carolina law enforcement officials say no one will be cited unless they’re a consistent offender.

“These are tough directives, but I need you to take them seriously. Although we are physically apart we must take these steps together too in spirit,” he said.

Again, the order goes into effect Monday at 5 p.m.

Beginning Tuesday, the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Ferry System is adopting new ferry schedules due to lower demand for travel while the stay at home order is in place.

Starting Tuesday, the new ferry schedules are as follows:

Currituck-Knotts Island – Operations temporarily suspended.
– From Hatteras: 6 a.m., 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m., 6 p.m., 9 p.m. and midnight
– From Ocracoke: 4:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
Cedar Island-Ocracoke*
– From Cedar Island: 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
– From Ocracoke: 7:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Swan Quarter-Ocracoke*
– From Swan Quarter: 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
– From Ocracoke: 7 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Cherry Branch-Minnesott Beach
– From Cherry Branch: 6 a.m., 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
– From Minnesott Beach: 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
– From Bayview: 5:45 a.m., 7:15 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5:40 p.m.
– From Aurora: 6:30 a.m., 8 a.m., 5 p.m. and 6:15 p.m.

*(Please note: Only Ocracoke residents and those with permits issued by Hyde County will be allowed access to Ocracoke-bound ferries. Learn more.)

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