MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, Mecklenburg County leaders have announced a stay-at-home order for residents.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management Office says the order will go into effect on Thursday, March 26 at 8 a.m. and will remain in effect for the next 21 days.
The order was announced Tuesday, March 24th by Mecklenburg County Public Health Director, Gibbie Harris, during the Board of County Commissioners Budget and Public Policy meeting.
The order will require County residents to remain in their homes for the next 21 days as part of an attempt to reduce the number of new COVID-19 infections within the County. Exceptions will be allowed for those seeking medical treatment, buying food or exercising outdoors.
Essential workers, including hospital and medical staff, pharmacy employees, law enforcement, firefighters, EMS Agency (MEDIC), some government employees and food service and grocery store employees will be allowed to travel to work.
The order will not prohibit restaurants from providing take out or delivery options. It also does not prohibit daycare facilities, homeless shelters and government agencies from operating.
The big questions – is South Carolina next to issue the same order? And how will the Mecklenburg County ruling impact commuters?
During South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster’s press briefing on Coronavirus COVID-19, he did mention the idea of issuing a “shelter in place” order. While nothing has been issued, it’s not off the table. He urged citizens to stay home.
“All plans and contingencies are on the table. We’re not ruling anything in except those we’ve already ruled in and we’re not ruling anything out,” he said. “That includes something that has been asked by many, shelter in place, which is a ‘stay home’ shelter in place order that we have not issued.”
As of now, McMaster says many South Carolinians are doing their part by staying at home, using common sense and following CDC guidelines.
We’ll keep you updated if anything changes.