CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A stay at home proclamation has been issued for Mecklenburg County starting Thursday at 8 a.m. because of the growing COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
"In a matter of 10 days the total number of cases has increased significantly," said Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio. "Based on predictive modeling, if the current state continues, we could see the number of cases double every four days in the state of North Carolina."
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has been tasked with managing the stay at home order and said they will enforce the order in a respectful manner.
"We're going to manage it through voluntary compliance, dialogue, and cooperation from community members," said CMPD Deputy Chief Jeff Estes.
CMPD said they will manage this new order much like they managed the mass gathering order.
Police said they are looking for community cooperation however, the department does have the authority to issue citations or make misdemeanor arrests if all other efforts of voluntary cooperation fail.
Drivers should know that CMPD officers will not be proactively stopping motorists or people to ask where they are going.
"Our enforcement efforts will be complaint-driven," Estes said.
Police said the community can make complaints against people violating the stay at home order by visiting CMPD.org or by calling 311.
"Now this is a serious threat, potential lives hang in the balance as we seek to limit the spread of this virus," Estes said.
CMPD said the city of Mecklenburg has been nothing but cooperative and said they fully anticipate that cooperation to continue.
Under the stay at home order, residents are still permitted to:
- Shop at grocery stores
- Visit pharmacies
- Shop at hardware stores
- Visit medical services and doctors, but only if telehealth is not available
- Visit restaurant drive-thru and take-out
- Care for others
- Exercise, such as visiting a greenway, park, or walking the dog so long as 6 feet of separation is maintained
- Shop for necessary supplies
- Receive home deliverers
During the stay at home order, residents cannot:
- Go to work, except for those residents who maintain essential jobs
- Attend social gatherings
These businesses are considered essential during the stay at home order:
- Healthcare, public health, law enforcement, public safety and first responders
- Food, beverages, and agriculture
- Stores that sell groceries and medicine
- Organizations that provide charitable and social services
- Water and wastewater
- Transportation and logistics
- Public works
- Communication and information technology
- Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation
- Financial institutions
- Hardware and supply stores
- Critical trades
- Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery, and pick-up services
- Laundry services
- Restaurants for consumption off-premises
- Supplies to work from home
- Supplies for essential businesses and operations
- Home-based care and services
- Residential facilities and shelters
- Professional services (I.e. accounting, insurance, etc.)
- Childcare centers, for specific employees
- Manufacture, distribution, and supply chain
- Hotels and motels
- Funeral services
- Community-based government operations, essential functions including human services
- Critical manufacturing
- Hazardous materials
If the job is not essential it needs to close, Diorio said. It doesn't matter if there are fewer than 10 employees at a business.
Playgrounds are prohibited in this order. Mecklenburg County is working to go out and block those off from public use.
The county has set up a hotline you can call with questions about the stay at home order 704-353-1926.