By Kendall McGee | March 30, 2020 at 5:52 PM EDT – Updated March 30 at 9:51 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Area law enforcement have come together to respond to Governor Roy Cooper’s stay at home order.
Lead officials at various police departments and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office released a video Monday night emphasizing social distancing and community health guidelines.
The New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon issued the following statement:
“We want you to know that we’re all in this together. Your safety and the safety of our law enforcement personnel is critical.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a very stressful and at times a confusing event. The stay-at-home order issued Saturday by Governor Cooper likely and understandably enhanced those emotions.
Here is my perspective of Governor Cooper’s Executive Order. I think it is important to address what the Sheriff’s Office will and will not be doing as a result of the Order. I hope this will relieve some of the worry for those trying to understand what the stay-at-home order means for you and your families.
First, New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office Deputies will not have roadblocks setup to check those who are out and about. We trust everyone moving about is in compliance with the Governor‘s Order.
What is considered essential as related to the stay-at-home order? A person may be out if they are coming or going to: Work, medical appointments, shopping for food, medications and home products for yourself or for someone unable to leave their home. This also includes travel to and from places of worship as well as travel to volunteer with organizations that provide charitable services. Additionally, you CAN go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. You can go for a walk or a jog and you can take your dog for a walk. However, this does not mean you can go to public places that have been closed by our county or our local municipalities (Please check with your local municipalities for a list of closures).
The goal of the order is to limit the amount of contact between people in an effort to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 while still allowing you to have access to essential needs and giving providers of these needs authority to come and go. Exercising social distancing (maintaining at least six feet apart) and only gathering in groups of 10 people or less is key to minimizing the spread of COVID-19.
Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with everyone as we navigate through this unsettling time.
Remember, we are here for you day or night. We remain on duty, protecting and serving you and your families. Never hesitate to call on us if you need us. Please stay safe!”
The governor’s order went into effect Monday at 5 p.m. and allows people to move around for essential services, including work, food shopping, medicine pick-up and outdoor exercise. It bans gatherings of more than 10 people and directs everyone to stay at least six feet away from each other.
Governor Cooper is seeking voluntary cooperation from people and businesses statewide, but if the rules are not followed state and local law enforcement officers have the authority to enforce the order, according to the governor’s office.
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