Durham mayor issues ‘stay at home’ order amid coronavirus pandemic

Durham mayor issues ‘stay at home’ order amid coronavirus pandemic
A local doctor says she's struggling to decide who to test and who not to test for coronavirus. (WFTV.com News Staff)

DURHAM, N.C. — North Carolina’s fourth-largest city Wednesday joined a number of local jurisdictions issuing stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Durham Mayor Steve Schewel issued an advisory saying he would announce the order at a morning news conference. His advisory didn’t include what activities may be exempted from the order in the city of approximately 265,000.

Durham has a reported 74 cases of coronavirus as of Wednesday morning. Durham Mayor Steve Schewel said he hopes Gov. Roy Cooper will soon enact a stay-at-home order for the entire state.

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Other municipalities, including Mecklenburg County, have allowed people to leave their houses for groceries, medicine and other essential tasks. North Carolina hasn’t issued a statewide sheltering order but has gradually reduced allowable gathering sizes and ordered some nonessential businesses to close.

Tallies by North Carolina health officials have shown Durham County to be among the handful of areas with the most cases. County health officials have reported more than 70 positive cases.

What does Mecklenburg County?s ?stay at home? order mean for you?

A stay-at-home order for unincorporated parts of Pitt County east of Raleigh takes effect Wednesday. In the western part of the state, Madison County also issued a stay-at-home order.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.