New executive order from Cooper will limit number of people inside essential retailers


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday he will sign a new multi-faceted executive order that aims to keep shoppers safe and also puts mandatory protective orders in place for nursing homes.

He touched on this potential order earlier in the week.

Read Executive Order No. 131

Cooper said that effective Monday at 5 p.m., stores may not have a number of people inside at one time that is more than 20 percent of the stated fire capacity or either 5 people for every 1,000 square feet.

The governor said stores must also mark 6 feet of distance at places where people gather, like checkout lines,

And store employees must perform frequent environmental cleaning and routine disinfection.

The order also encourages stores to make hand sanitizer accessible.

“I know a number of stores have already taken steps like these, and I thank them,” Cooper said.

The new executive order’s second part creates mandatory protective measures for nursing homes that had previously been recommended as guidance.

It prevents dining and group activities in common spaces and it requires employees to wear face masks.

It also requires these nursing homes to screen employees and residents for symptoms of sickness.

“We strongly encourage other long-term facilities to follow this same guidance,” Cooper said.

The third part of Cooper’s new order requires additional measures that will get more unemployment claims processed faster.

“The order makes it easier for employers to file a batch of claims on behalf of their employees,” he said.

North Carolina has 3,651 known cases of coronavirus as of Thursday morning. A total of 65 deaths are being blamed on the disease.


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