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COVID-19 COMMUNITY UPDATE

How will the stay-at-home order affect your daily life?

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Good afternoon, Wilson family.

The following information is the daily update as of Friday, March 27.

This update is EXTREMELY lengthy, but please READ to get a good understanding of our new executive order.

GENERAL UPDATE

As of Friday, March 27, Wilson has nine confirmed cases of COVID-19 with four patients who have recovered.

As we continue to fight this virus, remember to practice all preventive precautions to limit the number of people who contract this virus. The following are a few precautions that we can do daily.

• Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid close contact with people who are ill.

• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

• Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.

• Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.

STAY-AT-HOME ORDER

A couple key points on the new executive order:

1. The STATE ORDER starts Monday, March 30 and runs until April 29, longer than some of our local proclamations.

2. The governor has made CLEAR the local proclamations that are in place are still valid — and the more restrictive provision in either the state or local order applies and is enforceable in your jurisdiction.

3. The STATE ORDER creates a process for a business not in an exempt category to apply for an exemption.

If your business is not an essential business, you can request to have your business established as an essential business. The following link will take you to the correct website to submit your request.

https://www.ncdor.gov/home/ncdor-actions-covid-19/covid-19-essential-businesses?fbclid=IwAR2wp2CXM1XtKaMN7Lo5mece1eADvjsXxV0lcD1hicLlMDUUnTI6Gly8Tmo

On Friday, Gov. Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 121, ordering North Carolinians to remain in their homes except for performing essential work and essential activities such as taking care of others, obtaining necessary supplies and for health and safety purposes.

This stay-at-home order will help slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent the medical system from being overwhelmed by keeping individuals from being exposed to the virus and keeping those who have the virus from spreading it to others.

Please note that Executive Order 121 modifies some sections of previous executive orders, but sections not modified are still in effect.

BUSINESSES THAT CAN REMAIN OPEN

• Restaurants that provide takeout, drive-thru or delivery service

• Grocery stores

• ABC stores and beer and wine stores

• Doctors and other health care providers

• Pharmacies 

• Hardware stores

• Post offices

• Office supply stores 

• Gas stations and convenience stores

• Veterinarians and pet supply stores

• Hotels, airlines, buses, taxis and rideshare services

• Places of worship 

• Child care providers that are following the required NCDHHS procedures

For a full list of essential businesses, click link below:

https://files.nc.gov/governor/documents/files/EO121-Stay-at-Home-Order-3.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3EnPaE4BPok59rCEjYyz9DhxDVICGTN0B1TYY3sziwlXtrd_dILo7-l1g

Q&A ON THE NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER

What does “Stay at Home” mean? 

It means people should stay at their residence and limit social interactions and travel for essential activities or essential business purposes.

When does the order take effect?

The order takes effect at 5 p.m. Monday, March 30.

When will this order be lifted? 

This order is valid for 30 days through April 29, 2020, but can be revised or extended.

Is this executive order mandatory, or is it just guidance?

This order is mandatory. All people and other entities are required to comply if they do not fall within the exemptions that are specified in the order.

How will this executive order be enforced? 

Governor Cooper is seeking voluntary cooperation from all state residents and businesses to ensure the health and safety of our communities. If voluntary cooperation is not achieved, state and local law enforcement officers have the authority to enforce the order.

Various local counties and cities have issued their own shelter-in-place orders. How do the state and local orders correlate with one another?

People in North Carolina must abide by this statewide order. To the extent that a local order contains more restrictive requirements, the more restrictive local order must be followed.

Can I leave my home to visit friends or family members?

Individuals may leave their homes to care for a family member or friend, or to help their family member or friend get essential goods or receive necessary health care. Individuals should not visit with friends or family members if there is no urgent need.

What if I require medical attention? 

Individuals may leave their homes to receive necessary medical care. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, please follow guidance provided by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

If you have mild symptoms, stay home and call your doctor. 

Can I leave my home to exercise?

People are encouraged to maintain healthy lifestyles, including outdoor recreational activity, such as walking pets and jogging. While exercising, individuals should maintain social distancing and continue to take protective measures to maintain their personal health and well-being.

Does this order prohibit outside group exercise?

As long as the group abides by the mass gatherings provision in the order (no more than 10 people) and maintains adequate social distancing, this activity is not prohibited, but it is strongly discouraged.

What if my home is not a safe environment?

Individuals whose residences are unsafe or become unsafe, such as victims of domestic violence, are permitted and urged to leave their home and stay at a safe alternate location, which can include a hotel or shelter.

Can I take my kids to the park?

Unless your local jurisdiction has closed parks, people may go to public parks and open outdoor recreation areas while following social distancing and mass gathering guidelines. Public playgrounds and their equipment are closed for use statewide.

Are the entertainment, personal care and grooming businesses that are closed under Executive Order 120 supposed to remain closed?

Businesses prohibited from operating under Executive Order 120 shall remain closed.

What businesses may remain open?

Essential businesses as defined in the order may remain open. Other non-essential businesses must remain closed unless permitted by the Secretary of Revenue. 

Establishments required to close under previous executive orders must remain closed.

Does my business need any documentation to continue operating?

Businesses and not-for-profit organizations that are deemed essential as defined by the order do not need any documentation from the state to continue operations. Employees are not required to have specific documentation to report to work under this order.

What if my business is not listed as essential and I cannot conduct business operations and maintain social distancing between employees?

If your business is not included in the list of Essential Businesses and Operations and you believe it is essential, you can submit an application to the North Carolina Department of Revenue. The NCDOR will review applications to determine whether the business is necessary to properly respond to this COVID-19 pandemic.

What if my business does not fall within an exception and must close?

Businesses that are required to cease all activities are still allowed to continue Minimum Basic Operations. These operations include activities necessary to maintain the value of the business’s inventory; preserve the condition of the business’s physical plant and equipment; ensure security; process payroll and employee benefits, or related functions; and, activities to support employees who are working remotely. However, employees must comply with social distancing requirements, to the extent possible, while carrying out such operations.

If my business was previously required to close under an executive order or a local stay-at-home order, are there any circumstances under this order that would allow me to reopen? 

No.

Does this order prohibit operations of child care centers and other child care providers? 

No. Although child care providers are urged to remain open for first responders and essential employees, they are also open to the general public. All open child care providers must follow the NCDHHS emergency child care operations and financing guidance.

Are religious functions allowed? 

Religious gatherings are subject to the mass gathering ban and may not have more than 10 people. Participants should practice social distancing.

Are weddings allowed?

Weddings are subject to the mass gathering ban and may not have more than 10 people. Participants should practice social distancing.

Are funerals allowed? 

Funerals are time-sensitive events and may not have more than 50 people. Participants should practice social distancing.

Can I still attend religious services?

The order allows individuals to attend their places of worship if they follow the mass gathering ban and do not have more than 10 people assembled. Social distancing should be practiced. Places of worship are encouraged to stream their services online to accommodate people complying with the order.

Are car dealerships open during the emergency?

Car dealerships, and other places that sell automobiles, are essential businesses that may provide relief for those who have transportation issues during the emergency and are permitted to remain open.

Can I still mail items and get deliveries? 

Yes. The postal service and private mail and delivery services are essential businesses and will remain open.

Can I still go to my substance abuse treatment groups (e.g. Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous) or other group counseling sessions? 

Group counseling sessions are subject to the mass gathering ban and may not have more than 10 people. Participants attending in person should practice social distancing. Group counseling services are urged to conduct meetings remotely if they are equipped to do so. Groups should make accommodations for remote support to the maximum extent feasible.

Can I visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility or other residential care facility? 

You may visit a hospital or other health care facility only to obtain health care services and supplies. Do not visit a nursing home, skilled nursing facility, residential care facility or any other long term care facility unless it is an end-of-life visit.

Can I carry out a court-ordered visit with my kids? 

Yes. To the extent possible, maintain social distancing with individuals other than your child and limit meetings to places and activities that are permitted under this order, such as outdoor parks.

What if I still have to go to work?

Businesses have been encouraged to implement remote working policies for their employees. If you have been designated essential by your employer, you should continue to go to work and practice social distancing to the extent possible.

Where can I report a business that is operating in violation of the order? 

Governor Cooper is seeking voluntary cooperation from all state residents and businesses to ensure the health and safety of our communities. If voluntary cooperation is not achieved, state and local law enforcement officers have the authority to enforce the order.

Are gun stores allowed to operate?

Gun stores implementing social distancing requirements for employees and customers as defined in the order may remain open.

Are golf courses allowed to stay open? 

Golf courses implementing social distancing requirements for employees and customers as defined in the order may remain open.

What is the current number of people that can gather under the mass gathering requirements?

A mass gathering is defined as no more than ten (10) people. 

What are social distancing requirements?

• Maintaining at least a 6-foot distance from other individuals;

• Washing hands using soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible or the use of hand sanitizer; 

• Regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces; 

• Facilitating online or remote access by customers if possible.

ACCURATE AND VERIFIABLE INFORMATION

Do not rely on information that may be found on social media, messages you may get in your inbox or word of mouth. Our city government, county government, Wilson Times, health department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Department of Health and Human Services are reliable and verifiable sources of information. There is a link to each entity below.

City of Wilson Website

https://www.wilsonnc.org/

City of Wilson Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/WilsonNC/

Wilson County Website

https://www.wilson-co.com/

County of Wilson Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/wilsoncountygov/

The Wilson Times

www.wilsontimes.com

Wilson Times Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/wilsontimes

Centers For Disease Control

https://www.cdc.gov/

North Carolina Department Health and Human Services

https://www.ncdhhs.gov/

PRAYER FOR OUR CITY

Thank you, Apostle Gail Speight, pastor of Abundant Life Church Ministries, for leading our city in prayer Friday morning.

https://vimeo.com/401364718

If you were not able to see the prayer, it can be seen on Channel 8 Greenlight and Spectrum. It can also be seen on my Facebook page.

Please join us this morning at 9:15 a.m. when we go live for our next Prayer for our City.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” — Isaiah 41:10.


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