Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials North Carolina, US, extend orders requiring residents to stay home, nonessential businesses to close through May 8.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Asheville, North Carolina
  • Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • Jacksonville, North Carolina
  • Wilmington, North Carolina
  • Morehead City, North Carolina
  • Cape Hatteras, North Carolina
  • Nags Head, North Carolina
  • Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • New Bern, North Carolina
  • Greenville, North Carolina
  • Hickory, North Carolina
  • Rocky Mount, North Carolina
  • Durham, North Carolina

This alert began 23 Apr 2020 21:18 GMT and is scheduled to expire 08 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: COVID-19 Restrictions
  • Location(s): North Carolina (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least May 8
  • Impact: Movement restrictions, significant transport and business disruptions

Summary
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper extended orders requiring residents to stay at home and nonessential businesses to remain closed through at least 1700 May 8, as part of the state's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Under the orders, which were set to expire April 29, residents are only allowed to leave their homes to perform essential tasks, such as receiving medical attention, purchasing basic goods, or caring for a family member or friend in need. Residents may also engage in outdoor fitness activities provided they comply with social distancing directives and restrictions on public gatherings. Among the essential businesses that can remain open are those that sell, produce, or distribute basic goods, banks, healthcare facilities, fuel stations, and those in the security, transport, and media industries. Places of worship may remain open but must avoid any gathering of 10 or more people. All gatherings of 10 or more people will continue to be banned. Nonessential businesses may operate with their employees working from home. Restaurants may operate only for delivery or carry-out service.

Significant transport and business disruptions are likely. Authorities will almost certainly deploy additional security personnel to assist in enforcing the measure. Officials could amend the orders on short notice, depending on the disease activity in the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by authorities in North Carolina are similar to actions adopted by other governments in the US and globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in the areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
WHO Coronavirus Knowledge Base: www.who.int

North Carolina Stay at Home Order: https://files.nc.gov

North Carolina Orders Extension: https://files.nc.gov/

North Carolina COVID-19 Updates: www.ncdhhs.gov