Stay at Home
As North Carolina’s numbers continue to show improvement and vaccine distribution increases, Gov. Cooper announced today that the state will carefully ease some of its COVID-19 restrictions. Executive Order No. 195 will take effect February 26th at 5 pm and will expire March 26th at 5 pm.
“The key indicators are moving in the right direction. Our Orange County community has been successfully flattening the curve by wearing face masks, washing their hands and waiting six feet apart,” said Orange County Health Director, Quintana Stewart. “Thank you for your hard work, but please continue to practice the three W’s when you are not with household members.”
“Today’s action is a show of confidence and trust, but we must remain cautious. People are losing their loved ones each day,” said Governor Cooper. “We must keep up our guard. Many of us are weary, but we cannot let the weariness win. Now is the time to put our strength and resilience to work so that we can continue to turn the corner and get through this.”
Today’s Executive Order lifts the Modified Stay at Home Order requiring people to stay at home and businesses to close to the public between 10 pm and 5 am. The number of people who may gather indoors will increase from 10 to 25, while 50 remains the limit for outdoors. The curfew on the sale of alcohol for onsite consumption will be moved from 9 pm to 11 pm. Some businesses, including bars and amusement parks, will now be open for patrons indoors with new occupancy restrictions. Many businesses, venues and arenas will have increased occupancy both indoors and outdoors.
Executive Order No. 195 has two general categories of occupancy restrictions: 30% capacity and 50% capacity. Because indoor spaces have a higher risk of spread for COVID-19, indoor facilities in the 30%-occupancy category may not exceed two hundred fifty (250) people per indoor room or indoor space.
30% Capacity Limit (may not exceed 250-persons in indoor spaces)
- Meeting, Reception, and Conference Spaces
- Lounges (including tobacco) and Night Clubs
- Indoor areas of Amusement Parks
- Movie Theatres
- Entertainment facilities (e.g., bingo parlors, gaming establishments)
- Sports Arenas and Fields
Indoor event venues with more than 5,000 seats are exempt from the 250-person limit if they follow additional safety measures. They can open at 15% capacity.
50% Capacity Limit
- Breweries, Wineries, Distilleries
- Fitness and Physical Activity Facilities (e.g., gyms, bowling alleys, rock climbing facilities)
- Museums and Aquariums
- Outdoor areas of Amusement Parks
- Salons, Personal Care, Tattoo Parlors
Safety protocols such as masks, social distancing and frequent handwashing will continue to be important as people adjust to the new order, health officials said.
- Executive Order No. 195: https://files.nc.gov/governor/documents/files/EO195-Easing-Restrictions.pdf
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Executive Order No. 195: https://files.nc.gov/governor/documents/files/Executive-Order-No.-195-FAQ.pdf
The state stay at home order is intended to slow transmission of the virus, prevent overwhelming local hospitals and keep first responders safe.
At 5 p.m. October 2nd, the state entered Phase 3 of easing restrictions imposed by earlier orders. Key differences between earlier restrictions and Phase 3 include:
- The order allows bars, movie theaters and outdoor venues, among others, to open with capacity limits.
- In Orange County, outdoor gatherings of 50 or fewer people and indoor gatherings of 25 or fewer people are allowed with appropriate social distancing measures.
- Allows K-5 schools to reopen under the state’s Plan A option:
- The state’s Plan A for schools continues to include important safety measures like face coverings for all students, teachers and staff, social distancing, and symptom screening, but it does not require schools to reduce the number of children in the classroom. The school systems across Orange County will determine when to reopen their kindergarten-fifth grade classrooms and under which plan.
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.
What remains the same under Phase 3?
What are the major changes under this Order?
- Read all Executive Orders: https://www.nc.gov/covid-19/covid-19-executive-orders
- Implementing a Modified Stay at Home Order and Requiring Night-Time Closure for Certain Businesses and Activities During Overnight Hours - Executive Order 181
- Revises prohibitions and restrictions that move the state into Phase 3 measures - signed October 2 (Español) - Executive Order 169
- Revised prohibitions and restrictions that move the state into Safer at Home Phase 2.5 measures - signed Sept. 4 (Español) - Executive Order 163
- N.C. order extending Phase 2 (Español) - Executive Order 155
- Restricts late-night service of alcoholic beverages (Español) - Executive Order 153
- N.C. order extending Phase 2 (Epsañol) - Executive Order 151
- N.C. order extending Phase 2 (Español) - Executive Order 147
- N.C. order extending certain transportation-related provisions (Español) - Executive Order 146
- N.C. order extending certain health and human services provisions (Español) - Executive Order 144
- N.C. order addressing the disproportionate impace of COVID-19 on communities of color (Español) - Executive Order 143
- N.C. order placing temporary prohibitions on evictions and extending the prohibition on utility shutoffs (Español) - Executive Order 142
- N.C. order easing restrictions, Phase 2 - signed May 20 - Executive Order 141
- N.C. order easing restrictions, Phase 1 - signed May 5 - Executive Order 138
- N.C. order easing restrictions, Phase 1 FAQ
- N.C. order easing restrictions, Phase 1 charts and graphs
- N.C. order easing restrictions, Phase 1 comparison
- N.C. extension of stay at home order - signed April 23 (Español) - Executive Order 135
- N.C. order regarding business requirements - signed April 9 (Español) - Executive Order 131
- N.C. stay at home order - signed March 27 (Español) - Executive Order 121
Face Coverings in Public
The state’s executive order 147 requires (with few exceptions) that people wear a cloth face covering on the nose and mouth when they leave home and may be within six feet of other people who are not household and family members. This would include indoor community, public, and business settings. These coverings function to protect other people more than the wearer. Face coverings should also be worn outdoors when you cannot stay at least six feet away from other people.
Some populations experience increased anxiety and fear of bias and being profiled if wearing face coverings in public spaces, but everyone should adhere to this guidance without fear of profiling or bias. If someone is the target of ethnic or racial intimidation as the result of adhering to the protective nose and mouth covering guidance or as a result of the pandemic, they are encouraged to report the matter to local law enforcement agencies.
The Executive Order 176 limits 10 people for mass gatherings indoors but exempts worship services, spiritual gatherings, weddings and funerals. The limit on mass gatherings is expanded to 50 for outdoor gatherings. Physical distancing requirements remain in place.
- Amendment to the Declaration of State of Emergency in Orange County, December 16, 2020
- Amendment to the Declaration of State of Emergency in Orange County, November 12, 2020
- Amendment to the Declaration of State of Emergency in Orange County, October 2, 2020
- Amendment to the Declaration of State of Emergency in Orange County, September 3, 2020
- Amendment to the Declaration of State of Emergency in Orange County, August 19, 2020
- Amendment to the Declaration of State of Emergency in Orange County, July 9, 2020
- Amendment to the Declaration of State of Emergency in Orange County, June 26,2020
- Amendment to the Declaration of State of Emergency in Orange County, May 21, 2020
- Extension of the March 13, 2020 Declaration of State of Emergency in Orange County, May 6, 2020
- Extension of the March 13, 2020 Declaration of State of Emergency in Orange County, April 23, 2020
- Orange County State of Emergency to Order the Public to Stay at Home, March 25, 2020
- Orange County State of Emergency Declaration, March 13, 2020