Governor issues stay-at-home order

By Catharin Shepard – Staff writer – Gov. Roy Cooper announced he has issued a stay-at-home order for everyone in North Carolina, joining a growing number of other states that have already issued such orders.

“It has the force of law,” he said during a live-streamed press conference at 4 p.m. Friday. The order will go into effect Monday at 5 p.m.

The order bans gatherings of more than 10 people, and directs people to stay at home with exceptions such as going out to buy food, go to work or care for others, or for outdoor exercise while staying at least six feet away from other people.

Many hospitals are concerned about a potential surge in the demand for care, N.C. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen said during the press conference.

“Our actions, your actions, can save lives. Staying home can save lives,” she said.

There are currently more than 760 cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina, according to the most recent update from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. As of Friday, 77 people in North Carolina were hospitalized due to the illness.

Hoke County has two positive cases, including a male patient and a soldier from Fort Bragg who lives in Hoke County. Both were in isolation.

Three North Carolina residents have died due to complications from the coronavirus, officials said. The patients included a person from Johnston County; a man from Harnett County; a person from Cabarrus County. A person from Virginia traveling through North Carolina also died.

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