North Carolina Governor’s Executive Order Bans Mass Gatherings of 100 or more and Closes Schools

03/14/2020 by Dare County

At a press conference on Saturday, March 14, 2020, at 4:30 p.m., North Carolina Governor, Roy Cooper announced an executive order that bans mass gatherings of more than 100 people and closes K-12 public schools across the state for two weeks beginning Monday, March 16 through at least March 30. Closing schools now allows time for North Carolina to further understand the impact of COVID-19 across the state and develop a plan for continued learning for students should a longer closure be needed.

This executive order issued by Cooper will impact gatherings of more than 100 people, which could include: church services, weddings, or charity events. Cooper did note that currently, the order does not apply to restaurants or retail establishments.
While schools will be closed, currently the executive order does not include child care centers. North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services recommends that childcare centers:

• Cancel or reduce large events and gatherings, such as assemblies and field trips.
• Limit inter-school interactions.
• Consider distance or e-learning in some settings.
• Consider dismissals if staff or absenteeism impacts the ability to remain open. Short-term closures may also be necessary to facilitate public health investigation and/or cleaning if a case is diagnosed in a child or staff member.

More guidance for childcare centers can be found at www.ncdhhs.gov/covid19.

The Governor’s order did not implement any travel restrictions. Should future orders from the Governor, or mitigation guidance from public health officials include travel restrictions, Dare County officials will take action to implement them.

“We are following all guidance provided to us by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” commented Dr. Sheila Davies, Director, Dare County Department of Health & Human Services. “Our team continues to closely monitor this dynamic, evolving situation and as guidance changes, we will act accordingly to implement it to the fullest extent.”

It’s important for community members to access reliable sources of information. Additional information is available through North Carolina Health & Human Services at www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus or by calling the COVID-19 Hotline at 866.462.3821, information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is available at www.CDC.gov/coronavirus. For regularly updated information on COVID-19 in Dare County and information about how to protect yourself, your family, and our community, please visit www.darenc.com/covid19 or call 252.475.5008.