Gov. Cooper to continue stay-at-home order through February; eviction moratorium, mixed drinks to-go order extended


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) — Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday extended the state’s nightly curfew through the end of February.

In addition, a moratorium on evictions and rules allowing restaurants and bars to serve mixed drinks to go have also been extended. The evictions moratorium follows President Joe Biden’s executive order to extend the moratorium until the end of March.

“I’m extending a moratorium on evictions to help people stay in their homes during the pandemic,” Cooper said. “Health experts have shown that keeping people in their homes is an important way to slow the virus. An evictions moratorium is important as we stay under a Modified Stay at Home Order.

“To support businesses working to serve customers during difficult times, I will extend the order to allow to-go and delivery sales for mixed beverages. These orders will be in effect through March 31, 2021.

“Although we are often frustrated and weary, we are entering a time of hope. The vaccine team and health providers are working night and day getting more vaccines to people and more are on the horizon. Our COVID numbers are stabilizing. We are charting a path forward.”

The curfew, which runs 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly, was put into place on Dec. 8. Restaurants can continue to fill takeout and delivery orders past 10 p.m. On Dec. 21, Cooper signed an executive order that allowed them to serve mixed drinks with the to-go orders.

Cooper said one positive number is that 99.8 percent of coronavirus doses the state has received have been administered in the state. He also said he recognized the backlog of requests for vaccines and asked citizens to be patient as vaccines continue to be rolled out.

“We are encouraged to see that our COVID numbers have stabilized in recent days, which is good,” Cooper said. “But the reality is that they are still high, and that too many people are still falling seriously ill and dying. The virus is still raging through our communities.

“As of today, North Carolina has had 733,010 confirmed cases; 5,587 new cases since yesterday; 3,305 people in the hospital; and, sadly, 8,915 people who have died. Our prayers go out to those who have lost loved ones or who are battling this virus.

“With more than 3,300 people in the hospital, and the percent of positive tests in double digits, we know this virus is still spreading. And with at least one new contagious variant of COVID-19 in our state, we still have work to do.

Cooper said he is hopeful as coronavirus cases seem to be reaching a peak, there is light at the end of the tunnel. However, with new coronavirus variants out there, now is not the time to let your guard down.

“It’ll get better as NC gets more vaccine and more providers giving it out,” Cooper said. “Until then, we need to keep up the 3Ws, plan and wait as hard as that is,” Cooper said. “I want every single person to be immunized to prevent this cruel disease. We’ll make sure everyone has a spot to get their shot.”

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