Governor Cooper issued a stay-at-home order Friday for all of North Carolina. It goes into effect on Monday, March 30, at 5:00 p.m.

After that, you won’t be allowed to leave the home except for “essential activities.” These include trips to pick up food or use services, to exercise or go outside, and medical care. Essential jobs—like journalism—will be allowed to continue without any necessary permits.

“Being apart from family and friends is difficult,” Cooper said on Friday. “Conference calls can be frustrating. The sounds of our lives—the school bell or the halftime buzzer—they’re gone. Losing your job or closing your business has to be painful. But we have to act now in the safest, smartest way when we have the chance to save lives.”

Groups of people will be limited to 10 people or fewer. Funerals are the only exception; up to 50 people may attend. You will be allowed to go to church or a wedding, so long as you practice social distancing. Previous executive orders regarding North Carolina schools and businesses are still in effect.

No criminal charges accompany the order, but law enforcement officers will encourage people to stay home. Cooper says that if there are repeated issues, law enforcement will be allowed to charge someone.

So far, North Carolina has 763 confirmed cases of the virus in 60 counties. Three people have died from COVID-19.

You can text “COVID19” to 898211 to get updates from the state about the coronavirus. Call 211 if you need assistance to pay bills.

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