Safer at Home Order FAQs

Stay At Home FAQsPreguntas frequentes en Español aqui.

Below are frequently asked questions about the Governor’s state-wide Safer at Home Order.

Additional Resources:

In Phase 2 of the Governor’s order, the previous “Stay at Home” order is now a “Safer at Home” recommendation. It loosens some restrictions on activities and allows for more movement, but recommends that you stay home to keep yourself and others safe.

As with anywhere you go, social distancing is required. 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. While in public, people should wear a cloth face covering, practice social distancing by waiting 6 feet apart from others while in public and wash their hands or use hand sanitizer. High-risk individuals are urged to stay at home and travel only for absolutely essential purposes.

Phase 2 begins at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 22, 2020 and remains in place until June 26, 2020, unless changed or canceled.

Phase 2 lifts or changes the following restrictions:

  • Allows restaurants to open for dine-in service at 50 percent capacity that can comply with specific requirements (including disinfection of common spaces and social distancing of customers)
  • Allows salons, massage, and personal care (beauty, hair, nail, and tanning) businesses to open at 50 percent capacity that can comply with specific requirements (including disinfection of equipment, face coverings, and social distancing)
  • Allows tattoo parlors to open at 50 percent capacity that can comply with specific requirements (including disinfection of equipment, face coverings, and social distancing)
  • Allows outdoor and indoor swimming pools to open at 50 percent capacity, with recommended guidance for public safety
  • Allows social gatherings indoors while following social distancing with up to 10 people, and allows outdoor gatherings while following social distancing with up to 25 people
  • Opens day camps, overnight camps, and child care facilities to all families

City of Wilmington, and the towns of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach may write orders specific to their jurisdiction with further restrictions in place. Residents and business owners should follow the local orders and refer to these municipalities for order compliance. Remember, that the most restrictive order is the order to follow.

Phase 2 still limits or restricts the following:

  • Bars and night clubs remain closed
  • Entertainment facilities, including movie theaters, museums, bowling alleys, amusement parks, arcades, bingo parlors and other gaming establishments remain closed
  • Fitness facilities such as health clubs and gyms remain closed. This includes any indoor fitness facilities like spas, exercise facilities, fitness studios, martial arts facilities, dance studios, trampoline and rock-climbing facilities, roller skating rinks, ice staking rinks and basketball courts.
  • Teleworking is encouraged
  • Social distancing, hand hygiene, and other methods to slow the spread of COVID-19 should be practiced, including staying at least six feet apart
  • Playgrounds remain closed
  • Open retail businesses must meet certain requirements to ensure the safety of their employees and customers
  • Visitation continues to be banned at long-term care facilities, except for certain compassionate care 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 Public Libraries will resume curbside service on Tuesday, May 26, at all four libraries, but the library buildings will remain closed to the public. You can reserve books online or by phone. Library hours for curbside will be: Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.

The Cape Fear Museum remain closed through Phase 2 under the Governor’s order.

Airlie Gardens, the Arboretum, and public parks are open, but under the Governor’s order playgrounds remain closed.

The Order imposes three additional classes of rules for retailers who meet the definition of “essential business”:

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.

Social-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. Restrictions on mass gatherings and social distancing practices are still in effect.

As with anywhere you go, social 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:

  • Maintain distance at boat ramps or fuel docks
  • Avoid using boat ramp docks while other people are on them
  • Do not have anyone other than immediate family on your boat
  • Do not tie up/raft up to other boats- keep your distance on the water
  • Do not congregate on any sandbar or island

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, but each municipality may choose to write orders specific to their jurisdiction.

Yes. New Hanover County and each municipality are enforcing state and local orders. Written citations and fines are being assessed to those who are not in compliance. Residents who wish to report noncompliance with orders should contact their local municipal law enforcement agency.

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, but county playgrounds are still closed to maintain limitations on mass gatherings. There should be no more than 25 people congregating outdoors or engaging in activity per the Governor’s order. Walking trails, parks preserves, skate park, bike park, and open spaces are open and available to use.

As with anywhere you go, social distancing is required. Individuals are encouraged to follow the Three Ws to reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19.

Yes.

While religious functions, funerals, and weddings may continue with no restrictions on the number of people who may attend, receptions or visitations before or after weddings and funerals are subject to the indoor gatherings of no more than 10 people and outdoor gatherings of no more than 25 people.

Individuals are encouraged to follow the Three Ws to reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19.

Health: 1650 Greenfield Street • Wilmington, NC 28401 • Phone 910-798-3500 • Fax 910-798-7834 • Human Services Fax 910-798-7824
Environmental Health: 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 140 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-6667 • Fax 910-798-7815