Home Local News Martial law fears from Richmond County rumor mill dispelled; Scotland County sees...

Martial law fears from Richmond County rumor mill dispelled; Scotland County sees first COVID-19 case

ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County Emergency Services sought to quell rumors early Friday night regarding pending military action.

“The first rumor to dispel is that there have been NO National Guard soldiers that have been deployed to our county to pass out any type of paperwork or to close any businesses,” read a Facebook post.

“The second rumor to dispel that is NOT true is there are NO manufacturing plants in Richmond County that is providing ‘certifications’ to get through any road blocks. Also, there are no roadblocks related to the corona virus.”

With California and New York on lockdown and other states, like Pennsylvania, shutting down “non-essential business,” it appears Richmond County residents are getting antsy.

N.C. Emergency Management Director Michael Sprayberry said during a press conference earlier in the day that there are no plans to have North Carolinians to “shelter in place.”

However, he did say that leaders in the Tar Heel State were “watching the rest of the nation and what they’re doing.”

So far, the only businesses that have been closed by the government are bars. Restaurants are also barred from serving customers indoors as state officials strongly encourage “social distancing” — staying six feet apart from each other — to “flatten the curve” of residents contracting and spreading COVID-19.

While restaurants can serve carry-out orders and make deliveries, the Moore County Health Department had to clarify that all seating areas in restaurants and bars were declared an “imminent hazard” in an abatement order from Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen — including outdoor seating.

Richmond County has yet to see a case of coronavirus, but WPDE reports neighboring Scotland County announced it has its first.


Officials with the Scotland County Health Department said the resident was travelling out of state and became ill, tested positive at an out-of-state hospital and is currently under quarantine, the station reports.

Moore County has two cases and nearby Hoke and Union also have cases, state records show.

As of 9:35 Friday morning, there were 137 cases in North Carolina, according to DHHS. The majority of those are in the Triangle, with Orange County finally seeing four cases.

The I-85 and I-77 corridors from Charlotte to are also starting to see more cases. There is also a case in Pasquotank County in the northeastern corner of the state and New Hanover in the southeast.

Leaders in Ellerbe have decided to close Town Hall to the public starting Monday until further notice, Mayor Fred Cloninger said Friday afternoon.

Payments will be accepted by phone by calling 910-652-6251, by mail at P.O. Box 310, or by drop box.

The administrations in Rockingham, Hamlet and the county government have already taken similar measures.

Pee Dee Electric also announced it will not charge late fees starting Monday.

“As we transition back to normal in the coming months and this grace period ends, Pee Dee Electric will continue to work with members who are behind on their electric bills as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak,” reads a Facebook post.


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Managing Editor William R. Toler is an award-winning writer and photographer with experience in print, television and online media.