Tuesday, 08 December 2020 15:53

Richmond designated as having critical COVID spread; Cooper enacts curfew with exemptions

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Gov. Roy Cooper on Tuesday announced a modified stay-at-home order, closing many businesses down from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for the next month. Gov. Roy Cooper on Tuesday announced a modified stay-at-home order, closing many businesses down from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for the next month. Screenshot

ROCKINGHAM — Nearly half the counties in the state, including Richmond, have been designated as having critical community spread of COVID-19 as Gov. Roy Cooper announced more strict regulations.


During a press conference Tuesday, Health and Human Service Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said 48 counties have moved into the red on the state’s County Alert System, established last month.

Other regional counties now on the list include Union, Anson and Scotland. Robeson and Montgomery counties were already added.

In the past two weeks, DHHS records show 694 new cases in Richmond, 623 in Scotland and 638 in Anson.

“I’m worried … but we can slow it down,” Cohen said, including the oft-touted three Ws: wear a mask, wait six feet apart, and wash your hands.

Cohen suggested that North Carolinians avoid traveling and gathering in the upcoming holiday season, including Christmas.

For those who do travel, Cohen urged that they get tested ahead of time, wear a mask all the time and keep gatherings small.

‘STAY HOME’

Cooper also announced a modified stay-at-home order, essentially setting a statewide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The governor said businesses will be required to close by 10 p.m. and alcohol sales for on-site consumption must end at 9 p.m.

When asked about the reasoning for the times of the curfew, Cooper said that in the later hours people tend to crowd closer together — though he didn’t specifically mention bars by name.

The order also applies to gatherings at homes.

Worship, religious, and spiritual gatherings, funeral ceremonies, wedding ceremonies, and other activities constituting the exercise of First Amendment rights are exempt from the order.

Businesses that sell groceries and manufacturers with overnight shifts are also exempt.

Collegiate and professional sporting events can run past the 10 p.m. curfew, as well.

See the latest order attached below, which includes other exemptions. Also attached is a Frequently Asked Questions document.

Cooper said the order aims to limit gatherings and get people at home “where they are safer.”

He also encourages local governments to enact ordinances to levy fines for non-compliance.

The order goes into effect at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11 and is set to expire at 5 p.m. Jan. 28, 2021.

“We will do more if trends do not improve,” Cooper warned.

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 08 December 2020 16:12