Governor Cooper issues stay-at-home order beginning Monday

Governor Cooper has issued a stay-at-home order in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The order will go into effect on Monday at 5 p.m.

It directs residents to stay home unless they need to leave for essentials – such as jobs, food, medicine, outdoor exercise, or to help others. Essential services will continue.

Gatherings of more than 10 people are also banned, and everyone is directed to stay at least six feet away from each other.

North Carolina’s confirmed coronavirus case count is up to 763, with another reported fatality from the illness.

The death of a Johnston County resident on Thursday brings the number of deaths reported by the state Department of Health and Human Services to three. The patient, in their mid-60s, had underlying medical conditions, Johnston County said in a news release. Cabarrus and Harnett county residents also have died. A fourth person from Virginia who died of COVID-19 complications in North Carolina is not in the state’s official count.

More than 75 people are hospitalized statewide, according to the department.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says, so far, 15,136 tests have been completed.

Meanwhile, Pitt County officials say there are currently 11 cases of the coronavirus in the county.

Wake County’s 1.1 million residents will be under a stay-at-home order starting late Friday afternoon through mid-April in an attempt to blunt the virus’ spread, particularly to higher-risk residents. Nearby Orange County also begins an order Friday.

Mecklenburg County, which includes Charlotte, began a similar order Thursday. Guilford, Buncombe and Gaston counties also have issued the directives, as have the cities of Winston-Salem and Durham.

The most recent numbers from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention show that there have been 85,356 confirmed cases nationwide, with 1,246 deaths.