March 27, 2020

Yesterday, Wake County announced a ‘stay-at-home’ order that will take effect at 5pm today, March 27th, to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am grateful to our city and county leaders for the hard work and thoughtful conversations that went into this decision. These measures will be in effect until at least April 16th as we continue to monitor COVID-19 in our city. I discussed the details of the order in a video released earlier today

 The stay-at-home order includes the following mandates:

• All non-essential facilities, services, operations and retail businesses must close.
• Gatherings of any size are prohibited. 
• People of any age with medical conditions should not leave their homes except to get medical care.
• Social distancing must be practiced while in public.
• Public transportation should only be used if necessary. If public transport is a person’s primary way to get around, they should abide by social distancing best practices, standing and sitting at least six feet apart and using sanitizing products.

The stay-at-home order DOES NOT restrict activities such as:

• Shopping for food at the grocery store or picking up take-out meals from a local restaurant.
• Operating businesses that provide critical services like hospitals, government agencies and financial institutions. 
• Caring for a family member or pet in another household.
• Providing childcare for parents who have to go to work at jobs that are considered essential.
• Utilizing plumbers, electricians, exterminators and others who help maintain the safety and sanitation of residences.
• Visiting a local park, greenway or nature preserve while practicing social distancing. Please note that only open park areas and greenways will remain open. Athletic courts and fields, dog parks, playgrounds, lakes, restrooms, and all other facilities will be closed. 

It has been a tough few weeks for many of us, and the next few weeks will be even tougher. But this only works if we all stay strong and work together. While we are keeping our physical distance, it’s more important than ever that we stay connected. Text or call to check in on your friends, family, and neighbors -- and make sure you are taking care of yourself as well. 

I cannot emphasize how important it is for you to stay at home.  But, stay at home does not mean shelter in place.  While physically distancing yourself at least six feet, take a walk in your neighborhood, around a city park or greenway. Get some fresh air and sunshine. Walk your pet. Please take care of yourself. We will get through this.