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New COVID-19 Restrictions Take Effect Friday

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Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday that North Carolina will enter into a modified Stay at Home order on Friday.  The mandate will require people to stay at home between 10pm and 5 am.  Businesses like restaurants, bars, and personal care businesses will be required to close by 10 pm.  According to a news release from the Governor’s office, travel to and from work; to obtain food, medical care, fuel or social services; or to take care of a family member is exempted.

“We already have strong protocols and capacity limitations in place including a statewide mask mandate.  With this additional action beginning Friday, we hope to get these numbers down.  Our new modified Stay-At-Home Order aims to limit gatherings and get people home where they are safer,” Cooper said.

The announcement comes as the state’s key metrics increase rapidly.  COVID-19 hospitalizations hit a record high on Tuesday with 2,373 people hospitalized due to the virus. Emergency department visits for COVID like-illness have risen the highest level since the pandemic began. The number of people in intensive care units also continues to increase.  The trajectory of new coronavirus cases continues to increase significantly across the state.  

“The virus is upon us with a rapid, viciousness like we haven’t seen before,” said Cooper. “Even though we’re all frustrated and weary of the fight, it’s more important than ever to take this virus seriously.”

The Governor added further restrictions could be implemented if trends do not improve.  This could require further limiting of restaurant dining, indoor entertainment or shopping and retail capacity restrictions, among other safety protocols. North Carolina is expecting to receive the first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine as early as next week.

Jared Brumbaugh is the Assistant General Manager for Public Radio East. An Eastern North Carolina native, Jared began his professional public radio career at Public Radio East while he was a student at Craven Community College earning his degree in Electronics Engineering Technology. During his 15+ years at Public Radio East, he has served as an award-winning journalist, producer, and on-air host. When not at the station, Jared enjoys hiking, traveling, and honing his culinary skills.