Wake County issues stay-at-home order effective Friday


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Wake County leaders announced a stay-at-home order for residents that goes into effect Friday.

County Commissioner Greg Ford signed a proclamation that puts the stay-at-home order in place effective Friday at 5 p.m. until April 17.

The order affects all of Wake County.

“This is necessary,” Ford said. “It is a data-driven decision.”

What is Not Allowed under the Proclamation
The stay-at-home order includes the following mandates:

  • All non-essential facilities, services, operations and retail businesses must close.
  • Gatherings of any size are prohibited.
  • People of any age with medical conditions should not leave their homes except to get medical care.
  • Public transportation should only be used if necessary. If public transport is a person’s primary way to get around, they should abide by social distancing best practices, standing and sitting at least six feet apart and using sanitizing products.

What is Allowed under the Proclamation
The stay-at-home does not restrict activities such as:

  • Shopping for food at the grocery store or picking up take-out meals from a local restaurant 
  • Operating businesses that provide critical services like hospitals, government agencies and financial institutions  
  • Caring for a family member or pet in another household  
  • Providing childcare for parents who have to go to work at jobs that are considered essential  
  • Utilizing plumbers, electricians, exterminators and others who help maintain the safety and sanitation of residences  
  • Visiting a local park, greenway or nature preserve while practicing social distancing

“Our short-term sacrifices can mean very literally the difference between life and death for some of our residents – and it would be irresponsible not to act,” Ford said.

Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker said the order will be enforced through normal patrolling. Baker said checkpoints would not be set up but deputies would monitor traffic throughout the day.

Baker said deputies have the authority to cite someone for not adhering to the order.

Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said that citation would be for failure to comply, which is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

For a comprehensive list of essential businesses and exemptions, read the proclamation.

The North Carolina Department Health and Human Services said Thursday morning there are 636 known cases across the state.

Wake County is reporting 100 cases as of 2 p.m. Thursday

Wake County joins Mecklenburg and Orange counties by issuing a stay-at-home order.

Orange County’s goes into effect Friday at 6 p.m.

Dr. Betsy Tilson with NCDHHS said 50 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19 across 57 counties.

Tilson also updated the number of completed coronavirus tests to 15,399, up from 12,910 which was announced earlier Thursday. She said 15,000 test results are still pending.

COVID-19 timeline

  • March 3: NCDHHS announces state’s first COVID-19 case
  • March 10: Gov. Roy Cooper declares State of Emergency
  • March 11: World Health Organization declares COVID-19 a pandemic
  • March 13: President Donald Trump declares a National Emergency
  • March 14: Cooper issues Executive Order 117 closing K-12 public schools until at least March 30 and banning gatherings of more than 100 people
  • March 16: NCDHHS recommends no mass gatherings for more than 50 people
  • March 17: Cooper issues Executive Order 118 limiting operations of restaurants and bars, and broadening unemployment insurance benefits
  • March 23: Cooper issues Executive Order 120 which closes public K-12 schools through May 15 and orders businesses such as barbershops and salons to close.
  • March 25: North Carolina reports its first coronavirus-related deaths
  • March 29: Trump extends social distancing orders through the end of April
  • March 31: Cooper signs Executive Order 124 which prohibits utilities from disconnecting people who are unable to pay during the pandemic.
  • April 7: Cooper will sign executive orders limiting customers in retailers and offers child care assistance to certain workers
  • April 14: Coronavirus-related deaths top 100 in North Carolina
  • April 24: Cooper extends stay-at-home order to May 8
  • May 5: Cooper announces Phase One of reopening will being May 8

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