Cooper tightens COVID-19 restrictions

  • NC Gov. Roy Cooper's most recent Stay at Home Order takes effect at 5 p.m. on Dec. 11.
    NC Gov. Roy Cooper's most recent Stay at Home Order takes effect at 5 p.m. on Dec. 11.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper rolled out new regulations as part of a modified Stay at Home order on Tuesday as COVID-19 cases statewide continue to surge following the Thanksgiving holiday.

The stricter rules will take effect at 5 p.m. on Friday and include a 10 p.m. statewide curfew. The curfew will be in place from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night. Travel to and from work, to obtain food, for medical care, fuel or social services, or to take care of a family member is exempted.

“We already have strong safety protocols and capacity limitations in place – including a statewide mask requirement. With this additional action beginning Friday, we hope to get these numbers down,” Cooper said. “Our new modified Stay At Home order aims to limit gatherings and get people home where they are safer, especially during the holidays. It’s also a reminder that we must be vigilant the rest of the day – wearing a face mask when we are with people we don’t live with, keeping a safe distance from others and washing our hands a lot.” 

The new order requires restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, personal care businesses and more to close each night at 10 p.m. Businesses that are already operating at limited capacity are required to continue those limited operations through at least Jan. 8, 2021.

In the past week, North Carolina’s case count has broken single-day records on three separate days, including crossing more than 6,000 cases per day on two of those days. Just a month ago, cases were under 3,000 per day. In recent days, the percent of tests returning positive has increased to more than 10 percent. 

In Macon County the trends for positive cases are also going the wrong direction. As of Tuesday, Macon County had 85 active positive cases, a jump from 61 a week prior. Macon County also crossed the 1,000-case threshold and has had a total of 1,020 confirmed COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.

According to Macon County Public Health records there are 130 COVID-19 tests pending results.

Macon County Schools

On Tuesday, Macon County Schools announced that Macon Middle School would transition to virtual learning from Dec. 9-11 due to staff shortages related to COVID-19 cases and subsequent quarantines.

Macon County Schools has 79 students district wide that are either actively COVID-19 positive or quarantined due to contact tracing. The district has 29 staff members out due to positive tests of close contact exposure.

All other schools in Macon County will remain on their normal modified schedule.