Questions, answers about stay-at-home order

Home Virus Questions, answers about stay-at-home order

What does Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home order really mean for your family? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions, provided by the governor’s office, to help you figure out what’s okay and what’s not.

The order went into effect Monday, March 30 at 5 p.m., and applies to all of North Carolina including Hoke County and the city of Raeford. The order is in effect until at least April 29, but can be revised or extended for longer. Go online to or for more information.


What does “Stay at Home” mean?

It means people should stay at their residence and limit social interactions and travel for essential activities or essential business purposes.


What businesses can stay open?

Restaurants that provide take-out, drive-through, or delivery; grocery stores; ABC stores and beer and wine stores; doctors and other healthcare providers; pharmacies; hardware stores; post offices; office supply stores; gas stations and convenience stores; veterinarians and pet supply stores; hotels, airlines, buses, taxis and rideshare services; places of worship, child care providers; and some other essential businesses, listed in full in the order, which is linked online at


Is this Executive Order mandatory or is it just guidance?

This Order is mandatory. All persons and other entities are required to comply if they do not fall within the exemptions that are specified in the Order.


How will this Executive Order be enforced?

Governor Cooper is seeking voluntary cooperation from all state residents and businesses to ensure the health and safety of our communities. If voluntary cooperation is not achieved, state and local law enforcement officers have the authority to enforce the Order.


Can I leave my home to visit friends or family members?

Individuals may leave their homes to care for a family member or friend, or to help their family member or friend get essential goods or receive necessary health care. Individuals should not visit with friends or family members if there is no urgent need.


What if I require medical attention?

Individuals may leave their homes to receive necessary medical care. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, stay at home and call your doctor or the health department.


Can I leave my home to exercise?

People are encouraged to maintain healthy lifestyles, including outdoor recreational activity, such as walking pets and jogging. While exercising, individuals should maintain social distancing and continue to take protective measures to maintain their personal health and wellbeing.


Can I visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other residential care facility?

You may visit a hospital or other healthcare facility only to obtain health care services and supplies. Do not visit a nursing home, skilled nursing facility, residential care facility or any other long term care facility unless it is an end-of-life visit.


Can I still attend religious services?

The order allows individuals to attend their places of worship if they follow the mass gathering ban and do not have more than 10 people assembled. Social distancing should be practiced. Places of worship are encouraged to stream their services online to accommodate people complying with the order.


What if I still have to go to work?

Businesses have been encouraged to implement remote working policies for their employees. If you have been designated essential by your employer, you should continue to go to work and practice social distancing to the extent possible.


What is the current number of people that can gather under the mass gathering requirements?

A mass gathering is defined as no more than ten (10) people.


What are social distancing requirements?

Maintaining at least a six foot distance from other individuals; washing hands using soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible or the use of hand sanitizer; regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces; facilitating online or remote access by customers if possible.


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