NC Governor Cooper Extends Statewide “Stay at Home” Order and Order Closing Schools

April 24, 2020
Aerial view of Capital building in Raleigh

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper took additional executive action this week related to the COVID-19 virus and its impact on the state.

On Thursday, April 23, he issued Executive Order 135, which extends until May 8 the statewide “Stay At Home” order first issued in Executive Order 121 on March 27. EO 135 also extends closure of restaurants for dine-in service and bars and closure of other close-contact businesses. 

When releasing the order on Thursday, the Governor outlined a plan, which would have North Carolina gradually re-open over three phases to prevent hot spots of viral spread while also beginning to bring the economy back. Cooper also announced that the state is continuing to build capacity to increase laboratory testing, tracing capability, and the availability of personal protective equipment.

More specifically, the plan to re-open involves lifting restrictions in three phases once the data show that key metrics related to the virus are headed in the right direction. Those metrics include:

  • Sustained leveling or decreased trajectory in COVID-like illness surveillance over 14 days;
  • Sustained leveling or decreased trajectory of lab-confirmed cases over 14 days;
  • Sustained leveling or decreased trajectory in percent of tests returning positive over 14 days; and
  • Sustained leveling or decreased trajectory in hospitalizations over 14 days. 

Details of the plan can be found here.

On Friday, April 24, Governor Cooper extended an earlier order (Executive Order 120), which closed public schools to in-person instruction through May 15. Under the April 24 action, public schools are to remain closed to in-person instruction and continue to use remote instruction for the remainder of the school year. Cooper announced the order extension at a Raleigh press conference where he was joined by superintendent of Public Instruction, Mark Johnson and Eric Davis, chair of the State Board of Education.

Governor Cooper’s press release on this matter may be accessed at this link.


Brooks Pierce is dedicated to keeping our clients fully informed during the COVID-19 crisis. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 Response Resources page.

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