Below are frequently asked questions about the Governor’s statewide modified “Stay at Home” Order.
The Governor’s modified “Stay at Home” order implements a statewide curfew, asking that you stay home to keep yourself and others safe between the hours of 10 pm and 5 am daily.
In recent weeks, North Carolina has experienced record highs in the daily COVID-19 case count, hospitalizations, and deaths. There has also been a significant and sustained increase in the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests and emergency room visits for COVID-19-associated symptoms. The measures in this order are necessary to save lives and preserve health care system capacity and health care resources for the critically ill.
The Governor’s order still requires wearing a face covering in all indoor and outdoor spaces where physical distancing cannot be maintained, whether public or private. Individuals are encouraged to follow the Three Ws to reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19.
It’s still important to stay home if you are sick. High-risk individuals are urged to stay at home and travel only for absolutely essential purposes.
Phase 3 began Friday, October 2, 2020, and has been extended through the modified “Stay at Home” order through January 29, 2021, unless changed or canceled.
Under this order:
Retail businesses that sell groceries, medication, health care supplies, and fuel may remain open between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Service at restaurants, breweries, distilleries, and wineries may continue for take-out and delivery after 10 p.m.
Individuals may leave home during the Stay at Home Period to:
The modified “Stay at Home” order still limits or restricts the following:
The Governor’s extended Safer at Home requires people to wear face coverings while out in public.
This applies to individuals, workers, customers, and patrons in:
There are some exceptions where face coverings are not required, as listed below:
If you cannot afford or don’t have access to a face covering, you can use household items like a scarf, bandana, or t-shirt to make one. Learn how to sew or make your own non-sewn face covering here.
Some employers and establishments may provide you with a temporary face covering, so don’t be afraid to ask.
Cloth face coverings should be washed daily, either in a washing machine with hot water and detergent or by hand. It can be included with your regular laundry. Remember to take in account the cloth used in your mask for proper drying and laundering methods.
Cloth face coverings can be washed by hand by soaking in a bleach solution, with instructions outlined by the CDC here.
The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office and municipal Police Departments are enforcing all orders.
Citations will be assessed to businesses and organizations that fail to enforce required face coverings for employees and patrons. Individuals in a business or organization that refuse to comply with curfew/face covering requirements or to leave the establishment may be found in violation of trespassing laws.
Residents who wish to report noncompliance with orders should contact their local municipal law enforcement agency. Remember that 911 should not be called for these violations. 911 should only be called in emergency situations.
Yes, New Hanover County has developed an overview for safe reopening, and you can view that document here.
In conjunction with this resource, the county’s Public Health team is also offering expertise to restaurants, businesses, and organizations to talk through individual processes and safety measures. Business owners can access that resource by calling the Coronavirus Call Center at 910-798-6800. If needed, the Public Health team can also deploy to meet with restaurants or businesses on site (maintaining all protective measures), to talk through processes that facilitate cleanliness and physical distancing.
Additional resources have been developed by the local, state, and national organizations, including:
New Hanover County Libraries, Cape Fear Museum, Airlie Gardens, the Arboretum, parks, Splashpad at Long Leaf Park, playgrounds, outdoor gyms, walking trails, park preserves, skate park, bike park, and open spaces are open and available to use.
All county libraries and indoor attractions will follow state orders, with everyone expected to wear a mask and will only allow up to 50 percent capacity. All outdoor attractions will follow state orders, with everyone expected to wear a mask and allow up to 50 people per mass gathering limits.
New Hanover County Libraries are open for modified services Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Library services available include browsing and check-out, picking up holds, 60-minute computer sessions and curbside pick-up services. Interactive play items will not be available in children’s rooms and Story Places and Makerspaces will be closed. Storytimes will continue online. Modifications will be in place to slow the spread of COVID-19, including sanitation stations throughout the buildings, social distancing markers, no seating except for the computer stations, and no meeting room access.
The Cape Fear Museum will reopen on Tuesday, September 8, resuming regular hours of Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Visitors can expect routine cleaning and disinfecting throughout the day, and temporary closure of some exhibit areas that don’t allow for social distancing or are high-touch areas.
The Order imposes three additional classes of rules for retailers:
Emergency Maximum Occupancy – Retailers are now limited to fifty percent (50%) of the stated fire capacity. Retailers must abide by and enforce this maximum and place notice of the Emergency Maximum Capacity in a conspicuous place.
Physical-Distancing Markings – Retailers must now mark six foot (6′) spacing at cash-register lines and in other “high-traffic areas for customers” inside the establishment. The Order doesn’t define high-traffic areas, but it lists deli counters and areas near high-volume products as examples. Retailers who have met or expect to meet or exceed their Emergency Maximum Occupancy, must mark six foot (6′) spaces in a designated line outside their establishment.
Cleaning and Disinfecting – The Order mandates frequent and routine cleaning and disinfection of high-touch areas utilizing a disinfectant approved by the EPA for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). The Order does not define “frequent” or “routine.”
Yes. Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, and Kure Beach are open. In addition, Masonboro Island is open. Requirements for mask usage, physical distancing practices, and limits on mass gatherings are still in effect.
As with anywhere you go, physical distancing is required. Individuals are encouraged to follow the Three Ws to reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19.
Yes, public and private boat ramps and marinas in New Hanover County are open. This includes boat docks and wet slips. Please follow these recommendations:
Kayaks, paddle boards and other non-motorized boats are still permitted to launch from public or private boat ramps.
Hotels, motels, and short-term rentals are no longer restricted by the county and are open for business.
People can and should leave their homes to receive medical care.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, first call ahead to your physician or the Coronavirus Call Center at 910-798-6800 to help determine if you need to seek medical care.
If you feel unsafe in your home, please seek out a local shelter.
Local shelters are allowed to remain open within the Order. If you are experiencing abuse or are in danger, resources are available to you through the New Hanover Disaster Coalition.
Yes, county parks, the SplashPad at Long Leaf Park, playgrounds, outdoor gyms, walking trails, parks preserves, skate park, bike park, and open spaces are open and available to use. All county playgrounds and outdoor gym equipment will be subject to frequent cleaning in accordance with the Governor’s Order.
There should be no more than 50 people congregating outdoors or engaging in activity per the Governor’s order.
As with anywhere you go, physical distancing is required. Adults & children ages 5 and older are required to wear a face covering where physical distancing is not possible and are encouraged to follow the Three Ws to reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19.
Religious functions, funerals, and weddings may continue with no restrictions on the number of people who may attend.
Venues may host receptions or visitations before or after weddings and funerals are subject to the occupancy limit of the lesser of 30% capacity or 100 people. Facilities are discouraged from hosting standing receptions or cocktail hours, and state guidance is that all guests must remain seated.
Individuals are required to wear a face covering where physical distancing is not possible and are encouraged to follow the Three Ws to reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19.