Pitt County countywide ‘stay home’ order goes into effect Wednesday

Published 11:20 pm Tuesday, March 24, 2020

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From Pitt County Board of Commissioners


PITT COUNTY — On Monday, during its regularly scheduled meeting, the Pitt County Board of Commissioners approved in an 8-1 vote a measure to enact a “Stay Home” order for all unincorporated areas of Pitt County. This order, aimed at preventing a further rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Pitt County, would limit all non-essential travel within the unincorporated areas of the County, as well as limiting the number in assembled groups to no more than 10 persons. The order is set to last for two weeks from 5 p.m.  Wednesday, until April 8, 2020, with a scheduled reevaluation afterwards.

This action directly followed presentations to the Board by Vidant Health CEO Dr. Michael Waldrum and Pitt County Public Health Director Dr. John Silvernail. Pitt County Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin McLawhorn formally signed the order on Tuesday, which amends the State of Emergency Declaration which has been in effect since March 19.

This Stay Home order would cancel gatherings with 10 or more people and require all individuals in unincorporated Pitt County to limit travel only for the access or providing of essential services.

Essential services include:

  • Healthcare operations and essential Infrastructure;
  • Grocery stores, farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food
  • Food cultivation, including farming, livestock and fishing;
  • Businesses that provide food, shelter, social services and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals;
  • Newspapers, television, radio and other media services;
  • Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair and related facilities;
  • Banks and related financial institutions;
  • Hardware stores;
  • Plumbers, electricians, exterminators and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences, essential activities, and essential businesses;
  • Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes;
  • Educational institutions;
  • Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers;
  • Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or carry out;
  • Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home;
  • Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate;
  • Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences;
  • Airlines, taxis and other private transportation providers providing transportation services necessary for essential activities and other purposes expressly authorized;
  • Home-based care for seniors, adults or children;
  • Residential facilities include hotels, motels, shared rental units and shelters;
  • Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities;
  • Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted from the provisions of this Proclamation of Emergency Restrictions to work as permitted;
  • Childcare must be carried out in stable groups of 50 or fewer (“stable” means that the same 50 or fewer children and staff are in the same group each day).

This order serves to further advance the #GoHomeStayHome campaign already being promoted by the Pitt County Health Department. Pitt County Chairman Melvin McLawhorn noted in his final comments during the meeting that, “I know that this was difficult; and I know for some it was very, very difficult. But I think that, if you look at the overall aspects of what we did, we did it for the good of this community and for the lives of citizens in Pitt County.”