Stay at Home

On April 28, 2021, Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. gave an update on the state’s current data, trends and vaccination progress. As the state’s metrics and key indicators remain stable, Governor Cooper also signed an Executive Order outlining safety measures for the month of May. Executive Order No. 209 will take effect April 30 and is set to expire June 1. As more North Carolinians get vaccinated and adhere to safety protocols over the course of the next month, the state anticipates lifting more restrictions on June 1

“While our numbers are mostly stable, we have more work to do to beat back this pandemic,” said Governor Cooper. “Let’s work hard in May and get as many people vaccinated as we can before summer gets here.”

Under the new Executive Order, masks will still be required indoors but are no longer mandated outdoors. Masks are still strongly recommended outdoors by NC DHHS in crowded areas and higher risk settings where social distancing is difficult. 

Executive Order No. 209 will also increase mass gathering capacity limits. The number of people who may gather indoors will increase from 50 to 100 and the number of people who may gather outdoors will increase from 100 to 200. Occupancy limits currently in place will remain the same.

“Fortunately, we now have enough vaccine for everyone. They are free and widely available across the state. In many places you don’t need appointment,” said Secretary Cohen. “For those who have questions, I encourage you to go to YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov to learn about the benefits of the vaccines, potential temporary reactions you might experience, and answers to common questions.” 

North Carolina continues to focus on distributing vaccines quickly and equitably. To date, the state has administered over 7 million doses. 48.7% percent of those 18 and up are at least partially vaccinated, and 39.2% percent of those 18 and up have been fully vaccinated. 

State health officials are continuing to monitor COVID-19 and its more contagious variants in North Carolina, which is why it is important to continue to follow the state’s mask mandate and continue to practice safety precautions, including the Three Ws—wear a mask, wait 6 feet apart, and wash hands often. 

Dr. Cohen also provided an update on North Carolina’s data and trends.

Trajectory in COVID-Like Illness (CLI) Surveillance Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is level.

Trajectory of Confirmed Cases Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s trajectory of cases is level.

Trajectory in Percent of Tests Returning Positive Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive is level.

Trajectory in Hospitalizations Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations is level.

In addition to monitoring these metrics, the state continues to respond to virus spread in testing, tracing and prevention.

Read Executive Order No. 209.

Read Frequently Asked Questions.

Current COVID-19 Restrictions in North Carolina

As of March 24, 2021: English, Spanish

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The number of people who may gather indoors will increase from 50 to 100 and the number of people who may gather outdoors will increase from 100 to 200. Occupancy limits currently in place will remain the same.Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about the Orange County stay at home order. Additional questions and answers are available on our COVID-19 FAQs page.


North Carolina Executive Order 169 (Phase 3) Frequently Asked Questions

North Carolina Executive Order 176 (Phase 3) Frequently Asked Questions


What remains the same under Phase 3? 

Under this order:
  • The capacity limitations on certain businesses, sanitation standards, other public health restrictions and N.C. Department of Health and Human Services guidance remain in effect.
  • A face covering is still required in all public indoor settings if there are non- household members present, regardless of the individual’s ability to maintain social distance. Face coverings continue to be required in public outdoor settings if individuals are unable to maintain 6 feet of social distance from non-household members.

What are the major changes under this Order? 

Under this order:

  • Masks will still be required indoors but are no longer mandated outdoors. Masks are still strongly recommended outdoors by NC DHHS in crowded areas and higher risk settings where social distancing is difficult.
  • The number of people who may gather indoors will increase from 50 to 100 and the number of people who may gather outdoors will increase from 100 to 200. Occupancy limits currently in place will remain the same.


  1. Key Points
  2. Easing of Restrictions
  3. Business Guidance
  4. Frequently Asked Questions
  5. NC Order Documents

Goals

The state stay at home order is intended to slow transmission of the virus, prevent overwhelming local hospitals and keep first responders safe.

Face Coverings in Public

Masks will still be required indoors but are no longer mandated outdoors. Masks are still strongly recommended outdoors by NC DHHS in crowded areas and higher risk settings where social distancing is difficult.

NCDHHS has additional recommendations to improve mask wearing based on guidance from the CDC. To ensure masks are as protective as possible, NCDHHS recommends that you:

  • Make sure your mask fits snugly against your face and covers your nose and mouth. To help with a snug fit, you can use a mask with a metal strip along the top of the mask.
  • Use two or more layers for your face covering. You can do this by wearing a cloth face covering with two or more layers or by wearing one disposable mask (sometimes referred to as a surgical mask or a medical procedure mask) underneath a cloth mask.
  • Do not wear two disposable masks.
  • Make sure you can see and breathe easily.

For additional information on how to improve mask wearing, please see updated guidelines from the CDC.

Mass Gatherings

Executive Order No. 209 divides businesses into three general categories for occupancy restrictions: (a) 100% occupancy indoors and outdoors; (b) 75% occupancy limit indoors and 100% occupancy outdoors; and (c) 50% occupancy limit indoors and outdoors. None of the businesses are capped at a certain number of occupants; however, these establishments must ensure six (6) feet of social distancing between Guests. 

Declarations