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North and South Carolinians asked to stay home, social distance

Up until Tuesday, when the ‘work or home’ order took effect, South Carolina was one of just nine remaining states who had not issued statewide stay-at-home orders.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Residents in both North and South Carolina are now under somewhat equal stay at home orders.

In North Carolina, residents have been under a statewide order for the past eight days as of Tuesday, with residents in Mecklenburg County asked to stay home going on nearly two weeks.

“As confining and frustrating as it is, we have to continue the ‘stay at home’ order and other interventions, they are working,” said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper while giving a coronavirus update Tuesday.

In South Carolina, Governor Henry McMaster has long been asking residents to social distance. 

Schools have been closed since mid-March, restaurants closed to dine-in customers, beaches and boat ramps also closed, and law enforcement was given the approval to disperse gatherings of more than three people.

RELATED: SC executive order to close public access to Lake Wylie raising questions about private property, marinas

“Today most of those recommendations are becoming mandates, becoming criminal orders with criminal penalties attached,” Gov. McMaster said Monday. 

He said he was forced to issue a statewide ‘work or home’ order after residents weren’t complying with social distancing.

“Too many people are on the roads, too many people are on the waters, too many people are in the stores,” he said.

Up until Tuesday, when the ‘work or home’ order took effect, South Carolina was one of just nine remaining states who had not issued statewide stay-at-home orders. But now with a ‘work or home’ order issued, what does that mean for residents?

RELATED: These states have issued stay-at-home orders, here's what that means

The order mandates all residents can now only leave their homes for essentials, to exercise or care for family members. Under the order, retailers will also now be forced to limit the number of customers allowed inside at one time -- a restriction Gov. Cooper says he’ll soon be passing in North Carolina.

In fact, Tuesday, Gov, Cooper said one of the most common complaints his office has been receiving is that there are simply too many people inside stores, making it impossible to social distance.

“This order will ensure those limits are mandatory across the state,” he said.

Gov. Cooper says the executive order will also loosen regulations on hospitals and clinicians, freeing up more hospital beds and more people to help. He says the order will also provide an emergency childcare subsidy for front line essential workers, which will also help parents find and pay for childcare. 

WCNC Charlotte also learned Tuesday, that North Carolina has received FEMA approval to set up housing alternatives for the homeless or people living in shelters who need to self-isolate or be quarantined.

And news for some of the more than 400,000 North Carolinian’s who’ve filed for unemployment, Gov. Cooper says checks are on the way, saying 110,000 have already been mailed.

So how could the statewide ‘stay at home’ orders continue?

Monday, scientists from several North Carolina universities including Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill released a North Carolina Specific model, which they say shows restrictions would need to stay in place through all of May to continue to keep cases down.

Tuesday, Gov. Cooper said he won’t be making any decisions just yet.

“The new North Carolina model says if we continue interventions through May we would significantly lower the percentage chance of overwhelming our hospitals, so we’ll continue to monitor that model, what’s happening in other states and talk to healthcare experts and business leaders," Gov. Cooper said. "All of that input will help decide how to move forward."

He said by obeying orders through the end of April, it'll help officials make decisions about May.

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