Harvard researchers say nearly half of NC counties need stay-at-home orders

North Carolina news

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)– Researchers with Harvard University say nearly half of North Carolina’s counties need to enact stay-at-home orders immediately.

The Harvard Global Health Institute maps the COVID-19 risk state-by-state and county-by-county.

States with more than 25 cases per 100,000 people are listed in the “red zone,” a category researchers say requires immediate lockdowns.

Two-thirds of the counties in the greater Charlotte area are currently in the red zone.

Others, like Mecklenburg and Iredell, are listed in the “orange zone” which calls for rigorous test and trace programs to be implemented.

For small business owners who worry about public health and their own economic future, they find themselves in a tough spot.

“I think we do need to do a lockdown. But not to the extent we did the first time,” said Kendall Bost, owner of Cabo Winery in Concord.

While there are no plans for stay-at-home orders in either North or South Carolina, it’s now up to individual counties to enact measures.

“We should be in the red. There are reasons we are in the red,” said Phillip Barrier, the County Manager of Avery County.

Avery was the last county in North Carolina to have a COVID-19 case. Now, there are more than one hundred.

Barrier says the school district will go back to virtual learning until after Thanksgiving.

But lockdowns aren’t in the foreseeable future.

“We’re gonna keep doing what we’re doing,” Barrier said.

“We’ve challenged everyone to limit their social circle, do more take out, don’t spend too much time at the grocery store. Go to work, go to school, go home,” said Barrier.

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