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What began with closure of schools three weeks ago to fight the spread of COVID-19 has grown into a statewide stay-at-home order.
Gov. Roy Cooper, a Nash County native, issued the order Friday. It took effect at 5 p.m. Monday and will expire April 29.
Just hours before Cooper announced his decision, local health officials were already calling for residents to stay at home.
“There is no place like home to stay happy, healthy and avoid exposure,” said Larissa Williams, the county’s coordinator of health services.
Residents need to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem, said Nash County Health Director Bill Hill.
“We are asking everyone to stay at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Hill said. “Please only go out for essential trips only if feeling well. Essential trips include going for food, groceries, prescriptions or medications, and medical appointments.”
Hill also recommended residents order groceries online to avoid having to go into stores, or have food delivered. When picking up prescriptions, use the drive-thru.
The county’s Parks and Recreation Department had already closed all its parks including locations in Spring Hope, Bailey and Middlesex.
Cooper said the order is necessary to fight the coronavirus. The state saw increase of at least 100 cases each day by the end of last week.
The state order matches the county’s request except Cooper’s order has the force of law and will be enforced in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties. Allowed to remain open for business are restaurants providing 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; veterinarian offices and pet supply stores; hotels, airlines, buses, taxis and rideshare services; places of worship; and child care providers that are following the required state health procedures.
The Nash County Health Department issued a guide of how residents can fight the spread of COVID-19. Recommendations are:
• Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
• Clean and disinfect commonly used and frequently touched surfaces.
• Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow. Throw the used tissues away.
• Avoid touching eyes, mouth and nose with unwashed hands.
• Anyone who has to go out, avoid close contact. Practice social distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from others.
“These simple practices can protect you and your family as well as making a huge impact on spreading disease,” Hill said. “We are not in this alone and it takes everyone doing their part practicing these small steps to prevent COVID-19 spread and protect the health of our county.”
For more information call 252-459-9819.