Gov. Roy Cooper announced that a modified stay-at-home order will go into effect in North Carolina on Friday, Dec. 11.
The modified stay-at-home order, which was announced on Tuesday, comes after a significant rise in daily cases and hospitalizations across the state.
The COVID-19 County Alert system ranks counties into one of three tiers that indicate the level of community spread — significant, substantial and critical. As of Dec. 4, 82 counties were experiencing substantial and critical community spread. Over 6,400 new cases were reported in North Carolina on Sunday.
The modified stay-at-home order includes a number of new measures to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 and requires:
- Residents to stay at home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
- Business to close by 10 p.m.
- On-site alcohol consumption sales to end by 9 p.m.
Cooper urged North Carolinians to remain vigilant the rest of the day, to wear masks when around those outside their household and to continue social distancing habits.
“We will do more if our trends do not improve,” he said.
Orange County is under a “Safer at Home” recommendation following the state’s previous Phase 3 stage of the reopening plan, and it is unclear how the county will respond to the modified order. The county already prohibited alcohol sales after 11 p.m.
Mandy Cohen, secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, said at the press conference the data has not yet showed the full impact of gatherings and travel from Thanksgiving holiday celebrations. She urged residents to avoid traveling over the upcoming holidays and, should they choose to, to get tested, keep gatherings small, continue to wear masks and gather outdoors.
Following the beginning of a mass vaccine campaign in the United Kingdom, vaccines may be available to specific individuals in North Carolina as early as next week, Cohen said. Those who will first receive the vaccine include frontline health care workers and those living and working in congregate facilities.
Despite the news of upcoming vaccines, Cooper reminded the public that they are not yet available and to continue taking precautions.
“As soon as it’s my turn, I will roll up my sleeve and do it,” Cooper said, when asked if and when he plans to receive the vaccine.
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