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Posted on: May 22, 2020

State moves into Phase 2; Wilkes municipalities urge residents to remain "safer at home"

WILKESBORO, NC, MAY 22, 2020] – On Wednesday, May 20, 2020, Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 141 moving the state into Phase 2 of its pandemic recovery as of 5 P.M. Friday, May 22, 2020. This phase replaces the state’s “stay at home” order with a “safer at home” approach, and permits the gradual reopening of some sectors of the state’s economy with protective measures in place.

Information on the details of the Executive Order are available at the following link:  https://files.nc.gov/governor/documents/files/Phase-2-FAQ.pdf

The full order may be viewed here: https://files.nc.gov/governor/documents/files/EO141-Phase-2.pdf

The move into Phase 2 was based on stability in the state’s health indicators. Statewide testing has increased, whereas percentage of positive cases was level. Stockpiles of personal protective equipment are improving. Hospitals have available capacity. The curve is flattening across the state.

However, trends in Wilkes County are not as stable. Wilkes County’s case count is over 450, meaning the county has one of the highest per capita rates of infection in the state. Community spread is occurring, which means the virus can be transmitted unknowingly by a carrier without symptoms, endangering anyone going out in public. Positive cases have been identified in seniors and children, the area’s most vulnerable populations. The county does not meet the guidelines for reopening as expressed by Governor Cooper and the White House.

Therefore, to protect the health and welfare of residents and accelerate the timetable for full reopening, the leaders of the towns of Wilkesboro, North Wilkesboro, and Ronda unanimously and unequivocally urge all residents to remain diligent by staying at home when able and taking protective measures when going out in public. 

“Even though restrictions have been eased it’s important to remember that the threat of infection from COVID-19 and its spread is still real and that the only sure way to prevent this is to continue to shelter in place if at all possible,” said Ronda Mayor Victor Varela.

Wilkes Health Director Rachel Willard added: “Please limit nonessential trips and practice the 3 Ws: wait six feet apart, wear a mask, and wash hands frequently. We know that community transmission is still happening and these practices not only protect you but others as well. These actions will help us break the chain of transmission.”

North Wilkesboro Mayor Robert Johnson asks area residents “to err on the side of safety rather than on the side of sickness or death.” He added “I don’t want to lose all the progress we’ve made from our sacrifices so far. We can make more changes as things get better.”

Wilkesboro Mayor Mike Inscore emphasized that “WE CAN contain the virus if we follow these guidelines. Lets be vigilant so our lives can resume normalcy!”

Residents are encouraged to be on the lookout for additional information from local government agencies on the impact the new Executive Order will have on services.

Finally, the municipalities wish to remind residents that places of business are legally permitted to impose additional protective requirements on their customers.

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