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Staying at home will save lives. That was the message from state and local health officials as Gov. Roy Cooper’s statewide stay-at-home order went into effect Monday.
“When we don’t have vaccines or treatments, social distancing is the only tool we have to slow the spread of COVID-19 so fewer people get sick at the same time so we do not overwhelm our hospitals,” Dr. Mandy Cohen, the state’s health and human services secretary, said in a Monday afternoon press conference. “I can’t stress enough that your actions matter — staying home will save lives.”
Cohen said the only way to win the fight and save as many lives as possible is if all North Carolinians do their part and stay at home.
“So if you are leaving your house, it really needs to be limited to getting groceries, getting medicines or going for a walk outside,” Cohen said.
She said if a person does work for an essential business, state health officials ask that they practice the most social distancing possible.
“If it’s not these very limited activities, please stay at home,” she said.
The governor’s order remains in effect until April 29.
Essential businesses that will remain open under the order include the following:
• Restaurants that provide take-out, drive-thru or delivery.
• Grocery stores.
• ABC stores and beer and wine stores.
• Doctors and other health care providers.
• Hardware stores.
• Post offices.
• Office supply stores.
• Gas stations and convenience stores.
• Veterinarians and pet supply stores.
• Hotels, airlines, buses, taxis and ride share services.
• Places of worship.
• Child care providers (who are following the required state procedures).
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Wilson’s city and county government officials also issued statements Monday morning dispelling rumors surrounding a curfew. Neither Wilson County nor the city of Wilson residents are under a curfew as a result of the governor’s order.
“We encourage you to stay home as much as you can for the community’s overall health and safety,” said Wilson County Health Director Teresa Ellen. She said when you must be out, practice social distancing by staying 6 feet away from other people. It’s also important to wash hands frequently. Ellen also added that if you don’t feel well, stay home and also clean frequently touched surfaces as well.
“These strategies really make a big difference,” she said. “We appreciate our residents partnering with us to keep Wilson County safe and healthy. Together, we can help keep Wilson County safe for everyone.”
WILSON COUNTY AND STATEWIDE UPDATE
Wilson County reported three additional COVID-19 positive cases on Monday, bringing the total here to 13. Of those numbers, five have recovered and six are hospitalized, Ellen said.
“While today’s numbers show an increase, this is not a surprise,” Ellen said Monday afternoon. “We have been doing a lot of testing in recent weeks in Wilson County, and as those results come back, we will see an increase as we know the virus is in Wilson County and North Carolina. The state as a whole is in an acceleration phase and this has been expected.”
There have been six COVID-19-associated deaths in North Carolina, according to Monday morning’s figures released by N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. There are more than 1,300 positive COVID-19 cases across the state.
The median age for those who tested positive for the virus is 46, according to state health officials. There are currently 137 people hospitalized across the state due to COVID-19, according to state figures.
The governor’s stay-at-home order is mandatory for all North Carolinians. The governor is seeking “voluntary cooperation” from all. If voluntary cooperation is not achieved, state and local law enforcement officers have the authority to enforce the order, according to the state.
Beginning Tuesday, Wilson County Clerk’s Office and the District Court Judges’ Office will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.