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Guilford County and the cities of Greensboro and High Point will establish a “stay home” order in response to increasing levels of threat from the coronavirus.
The order takes effect at 5 p.m. Friday and is expected to last through April 16. This decision comes after North Carolina faced its first COVID-19 deaths.
The local governments held a press conference to reveal new developments in their struggle with COVID-19, which has spread to at least 22 people in Guilford County and more than 500 people in the state.
All non-essential businesses and government agencies must cease operations.
People will still be allowed to leave their homes to get food, gas, medication and receive medical care and other essentials.
Essential businesses and operations include:
Stores that sell groceries and medicine
Organizations that provide charitable and social services
Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation
Hardware and supply stores
Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery and pick-up services
Restaurants for consumption off-premises
Home-based care and services
Residential facilities and shelters
Hotels and motels
Parks and greenways, however, will remain open.
“This Stay-at-Home order requires Greensboro residents to stay home in an effort to reduce exposure and flatten the curve to reduce community spread and hospital admissions,” said Mayor Vaughan. “This decision was not an easy one. I have relied on the advice of our medical community, especially our local Cone Health System and its CEO, Terry Akin.
Similar orders have already been issued by Mecklenburg County and the City of Durham.
More restrictions for the state will be released soon, according to Governor Roy Cooper.