On Monday, March 23, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced new safeguards to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The measures are effective Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 5 p.m. Below are the key points of the announcement.

  • Entertainment facilities without a retail or dining component are ordered to close, though any retail or dining component may continue to operate in the establishment solely for that purpose. The facilities include, but are not limited to:
    • Bingo parlors
    • Bowling alleys
    • Indoor exercise facilities (e.g. gyms, yoga studios, martial arts facilities)
    • Health clubs
    • Indoor and outdoor pools
    • Live performance venues
    • Movie theaters
    • Skating rinks
    • Spas
    • Gaming businesses (e.g. sweepstakes, arcades, computer lounges)
  • Because of the challenge of practicing social distancing, personal care and grooming businesses establishments must also close. This includes, but is not limited to:
    • Barber shops
    • Beauty salons (including waxing and hair removal centers)
    • Hair salons
    • Nail salons
    • Massage parlors
    • Tattoo parlors
  • Gatherings of 50 or more people in one place are prohibited. This includes indoor and outdoor spaces. This does not include normal operations at airports, bus and train stations, medical facilities, offices, factories, child care facilities and retailers.
  • Visitors and non-essential health care personnel are restricted in long-term care facilities. This does not include compassionate care. Long-term care facilities include skilled nursing homes, adult care homes, family care homes, mental health group homes and facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
  • Chatham EDC is sharing information on our website about financial assistance, resources and recommendations related to COVID-19 for businesses. https://www.chathamedc.org/news/covid19/
Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the state placing new restrictions on local businesses?

  • To help slow the spread of the virus and protect the public, to flatten the curve and prevent a spike in cases that would overwhelm our medical system and jeopardize the health of those who are ill.

What are the restrictions?

  • This order bans mass gatherings of more than 50 people.
  • This order closes gyms, movie theaters, sweepstakes parlors, health clubs, and other similar facilities.
  • The order takes effect Wednesday, March 25. Because of their inability to conduct social distancing, this order also closes hair and nail salons, barber shops, and massage therapists as of 5 p.m. Wednesday.
  • Grocery stores will remain open, as will restaurants providing takeout and delivery. Please do not overbuy at the grocery store. Grocery store officials say that supply lines are open.

How will these safeguards help slow the spread of COVID-19?

  • The measures the Governor has taken use the strongest weapon we have at the moment to fight COVID-19 – social distancing. That is why we were one of the earliest states to make mandatory the limit on large gatherings – and went even further today. The more we practice staying 6 feet apart, washing hands, coughing into elbows, the better the position we will be in.  We expect that folks in North Carolina are going beyond our mandates – and doing their part to limit the spread of the virus.

Where can impacted businesses find support resources?

What do I do if I’ve been laid off from work due to COVID-19?

  • Individuals can apply for unemployment through the NC Department of Commerce: https://des.nc.gov/apply-unemployment Under Governor Roy Cooper’s executive order signed on March 17, unemployment benefits will be easier to access during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How long will these safeguards be in place?

  • These measures will be in place for 30 days, unless superseded by another Executive Order. Chatham County and North Carolina leaders will continue to monitor the situation.