NC official: No plans to ‘shelter in place’

By on March 20, 2020

North Carolina Health Director Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson.

Despite increasing efforts to restrict the movement of residents in several other states, a top North Carolina official said today that there are no plans to order state residents to “shelter in place” or to mandate the closing of additional businesses.

While stressing that the COVID-19 pandemic remains a very fluid situation, North Carolina Emergency Management Director Michael Sprayberry, appearing at the daily 2 p.m. briefing, stressed that at least for now, there were no further social distancing guidelines in the offing. He did note that a small contingent of National Guards would be employed to handle logistics and distribution of equipment.

Also appearing at the briefing, North Carolina Health Director Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, indicated that there are currently 137 reported cases in North Carolina that have resulted in four hospitalizations. She also stated that there have now been two cases of community spread of the coronavirus in the state, meaning the infected people had not traveled or been in contact with someone known to be infected with the virus.

In response to a reporter’s question, Tilson said that she was not aware of any cases reported in North Carolina nursing homes or assisted living facilities —places that had been the nexus for the original COVID-19 outbreak in Washington state.

For his part, Sprayberry also advised people to make sure they were seeking news about the pandemic from trustworthy sources. “There’s a lot of bad information out there,” he cautioned., “especially on social media.”


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  • DC

    Can anyone explain why NON-RESIDENT owners are being permitted into the area?

    Friday, Mar 20 @ 4:15 pm
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    The County just announced it is banning those non-resident owners as of March 20.

    Friday, Mar 20 @ 6:30 pm
  • TC

    Why should non-resident property owners be denied access to their own home? Both Dare and Currituck County have no problem granting building permits for continued growth without planning for potential emergency and urgent issues during the summer and fall seasons. Restricting non-resident property owners access to their own homes will not prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the Outerbanks but will likely lead to alienation of the very people who support the local economy on an annual basis and who will help the Outerbanks recover when we are out of this crisis. This is very harsh reaction to a very difficult situation. As a long-time non-resident property owner, I am deeply disappointment at this action. During this crisis, we should be attempting to build bridges and support our entire community. Because I don’t live on the OBX year round, am I not part of the community? Is this action even legal – the state has not called for a shelter in place action?

    Saturday, Mar 21 @ 12:31 pm
  • Robin Thomas

    This is our second home however being retired we spend more time here than in Va. We do not rent our home and also own a vehicle with NC license plates that we leave in obx permanently. We need to get down to check on the house. We have plants that need watering food in the refrigerator and a garden and home maintenance that needs to be taken care of
    Please reconsider your limitations.

    Saturday, Mar 21 @ 4:02 pm
  • speckeye

    Robin! We have people here who could water your plants and eat that food, while attending to your maintenance. We recognize our limitations, which maybe you could do yourself. Reconsidering our limitations will come when the political and government RESTRICTIONS are placed in perspective, with time. This is OUR limitation, working with who we have and the restrictions the government places upon us who are under their jurisdiction. You are under some jurisdiction, are you NOT? Shall we ask you to reconsider whatever restrictions you may dislike where you are? No. We assume you can recognize light from the dark, logic from illogic, and that circumstances are beyond most of our control. You assume that our government apparatus is working against YOU, but they are simply trying to hold onto control of a place where you don’t happen to be everyday of your life, and you are evidently subject to an apparatus which makes you want to be here under ours. GOOD LUCK blaming us local residents for your misery. The realization that we are in a situation that outstrips our experience and defies modern precedent is sure to occur if you give it a little more time to sink in.

    Sunday, Mar 22 @ 12:29 pm
  • Crystal

    They don’t want people whom are traveling out of the area coming in and possibly contaminating our local population. As a native to the area I have seen many changes some got done not. Understanding that some of you have homes here that you come and visit whenever it is not your primary residence, so please do not get upset with our county officials for making this decision. They are protecting our interests. If you are not here regularly then you know your homes are fine. Please be respectful to those of us who do live here and work here full time and only have one home.

    Sunday, Mar 22 @ 3:50 pm
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