Wake County's first night under stay-at-home order seems successful

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's been a long time since Raleigh's Glenwood South looked like this on a Friday night. The clubs were locked; those long lines of revelers that stretch to the street have vanished. And this is exactly what Wake County health officials wanted to see -- as the county toughens measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.

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"Oh yeah, it looks different. Just me and the dog now instead. We're not out here partying or anything right now," said Al Matthews as he walked his dog down the deserted sidewalk that's typically teeming with people on the weekends.


After Wake County's stay-at-home order took effect at 5:00 pm Friday, Dylan Bouters and his wife, who live in one of the high-rises off the strip, ventured out to pick up takeout food. The couple said their apartment building had invented a new social distancing game with their neighbors. They call it "6 foot happy hour."

"It's a hallway and all of our neighbors come out and we stand in front of our doors and we bring our own drinks and stools and figure out how to talk to each other from a distance and have a good time," Bouter said.

Cell phones across the county lit up at 5:00 as an emergency alert was issued to notify resident that proclamation was taking hold. The order limits movement outside people's homes except for essential jobs and tasks mostly related to health and food.

In Boylan Heights, Decola Williams and her roommate spent their Friday night weeding the garden. Desperate for fresh air, but said they're taking the order to stay home seriously.

"I am so tired of being locked up in that house!" Williams said. "It's scary. But it's a reality right now until they figure out what they can do to prevent it."

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We found a trio of twenty-somethings having Chinese take-out at a picnic table in Pullen Park, which perhaps to the delight of county health officials was deserted despite the gorgeous weather.

"We're mainly out for exercise, so I kind of think that's how we're looking at it. And maybe some social time too. Just cause it's hard to be holed up in your house all day," said Kendall Brewer.

Her friend MaryAnn Bonnano added, "We've been at home and this is only place where we're not in close spaces and people touching things and it can only get more serious from here."

Raleigh police tweeted Friday evening that officer will not be stopping vehicles just to make sure people are following the order, saying there "still needs to be reasonable and articulable suspicion" to make a police stop.

The message from police squares with the message from Governor Roy Cooper, Friday, as he announced a statewide stay-at-home order set to go into effect on Monday evening. Cooper suggested much of the responsibility in enforcing these order is on the public for the greater good of public health.

Coronavirus NC: Gov. Roy Cooper issues stay-at-home order for entire state
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