Gov. Roy Cooper is ordering all NC restaurants and bars be closed to dine-in patrons in another effort to dampen the spread of the new coronavirus.
Cooper’s office announced he would issue a new executive order directing the closings effective at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, 2020. The establishments can continue to offer takeout and delivery, according to a news release.
Until now, bars and restaurants were exempted from Cooper’s prohibition of assemblies of more than 100 people, but state health officials had discouraged crowds at them and urged safe distancing.
Cooper’s impending order also will expand unemployment benefits to help employees harmed financially by closings in commerce, his office said.
North Carolina state government had counted 40 residents who tested positive for COVID-19, with 15 of those living in Wake County and seven in Mecklenburg. No deaths have been reported in the state.