Per a recent update from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), the latest COVID-19 County Alert System shows that 99 North Carolina counties are now listed as red or orange.
Eighty-six counties, including Dare or Hyde counties, are red with critical community spread, and 13 are orange with substantial community spread. Only one county – Greene county in Eastern N.C. – is currently yellow.
The Secretarial Directive from the NCDHHS, which was issued on January 6, remains in effect for the state. The Directive outlines immediate actions North Carolinians must take to save lives, slow the spread of the virus, and protect hospital capacity across North Carolina to ensure medical care is available to anyone who may need it, whether for COVID-19 or for any other reason.
Per the Secreatiral Directive, North Carolinians are directed to:
- Only leave home for essential activities such as going to work or school, for health care purposes, to care for family members or to buy food.
- Avoid leaving home if you are over 65 or at high risk for developing serious illness. Use delivery services or alternative pick-up methods for food and retail.
- Avoid gathering with people who do not live with you.
- Wear a mask and keep distance from people when you leave home.
- Avoid any indoor public spaces where people are not wearing masks.
- Stay away from crowds. Avoid places where people may gather in large numbers.
As recommended by the White House Coronavirus Task Force to North Carolina, the directive also says that if you have gathered with people who do not live with you, assume that you became infected with the virus and get tested for COVID-19. People should also get tested if they have symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
North Carolina’s statewide mask requirement and Modified Stay at Home Order also remain in effect. This order requires people to stay at home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Businesses including restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, personal care businesses, most retail stores and more, have capacity limits and are required to close by 10 p.m. In addition, all onsite alcohol consumption sales must end by 9 p.m.