What is an 'essential activity' under Gov. Cooper's Stay-at-Home order?

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The stay-at-home order for the state of North Carolina went into effect Monday.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced the order Friday as the latest expansion of his state of emergency executive order. The mandate is an effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic as it continues to spread through the state.

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Under the order, North Carolina residents must stay in their homes or current place of residence except for essential activities or to access essential businesses. Travel is only permitted for essential activities, and those who use public transportation must maintain social distancing--keeping a distance of at least six feet from any other person.



Keep in mind that counties might have their own orders that could be more strict than the state regulations.

Here is a list of the activities North Carolinians are allowed to do under the order:



Health and Safety


Residents can complete tasks essential to their health and safety or the health and safety or their family or household members, including pets:
  • Seek emergency services

  • Obtain medical supplies or medication

  • Visit a health care professional or veterinarian


Necessary Supplies



Residents can obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves or family and household members or deliver those services to others, including:
  • Groceries and food
  • Household consumer products
  • Supplies they need to work from home
  • Automobile supplies
  • Products necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of residences or essential businesses


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Outdoor Activity


Social distancing and mass gathering guidelines must be followed. People must stay at least six feet apart and cannot gather in groups of more than 10 people.
  • Walking
  • Hiking
  • Running
  • Golfing
  • Biking
  • Going to public parks or outdoor recreation areas, except public playgrounds, which are closed


For Work at Essential Businesses





To Take Care of Others


  • Care for or assist a family member, friend or pet in another household
  • Transport family members, friends or pets
  • Weddings, as long as social distancing and mass gathering guidelines are met
  • Funerals, as long as social distancing and mass gathering guidelines are met


Other Activities




Under the order, people experiencing homelessness are urged to find shelter that meets social distancing requirements. People whose homes are unsafe or become unsafe, such as victims of domestic violence, are urged to leave their homes and find a safe alternative location to stay.

Violating the stay-at-home order is a class two misdemeanor, which means a maximum of 60 days in jail and a $1,000 fine, according to the North Carolina General Assembly. However, Cooper said it is up to local law enforcement officers and district attorneys to determine how to enforce the order.
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