The modified stay-at-home order, which goes into effect Friday night, is more of a curfew--since its measures target things happening after sundown.
Governor Roy Cooper announced the stay-at-home order Tuesday, saying it would be in effect through Jan. 8.
"This order aims to limit gatherings and get people home where they're safer," Cooper said. He also warned that this may not be the only measure taken to slow the spread of the virus. "We'll do more if our trends don't improve. That could mean additional actions involving indoor restaurant dining, entertainment facilities or retail capacity. None of us want that. All these small businesses need more federal help. Congress and the President need to do that now."
What the order does
The stay-at-home order is the first such restriction in North Carolina since Memorial Day.
The order imposes new measures forcing non-essential businesses like gyms, restaurants and retail stores to close by 10 p.m. each night. They may reopen as early as 5 a.m. the next day.
Grocery stores, health care facilities, gas stations, childcare facilities, and pharmacies are a few of the businesses that are allowed to remain open past the 10 p.m. deadline.
The alcohol curfew, which previously stopped the sale of alcohol after 11 p.m., has been moved up. Last call now comes ahead of 9 p.m. each night.
Cooper said the logic behind the stay-at-home order was that alcohol and later hours have tended to coincide with larger gatherings. He said uninhibited people in larger groups have helped spread COVID-19.
WATCH: Gov. Cooper's full announcement for stay-at-home order
Face coverings continue to be required in all indoor public settings, and North Carolinians are recommended to stay at home and work from home whenever possible.
"This order aims to limit gatherings and get people home where they're safer," Cooper said. "The virus is upon us with a rapid viciousness we haven't seen before."
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