CHARLOTTE — Mecklenburg County leaders took action Tuesday as more states shut down and COVID-19 cases increase.
Starting at 8 a.m. Thursday, people in Mecklenburg County must stay home to slow the virus down, with some exceptions.
Officers will be on patrol to enforce the proclamation.
"The right for the government to enact limitations on that requires extraordinary circumstances,” Owen said.
County leaders believe COVID-19 is so serious they have issued a stay-at-home order, which means if you don’t have a good reason to be somewhere, then stay home.
Nathan Hoffman lives in uptown and walks his dog every day. He said he agrees with the order.
"If everyone can just keep their social distancing where it needs to be, we'll all get to where we need to go in a shorter amount of time," Hoffman said.
Some don’t agree so much.
"I try to question everything," resident B.J. Berg said.
Police will ask you to go home but if you don't, they can do more than just ask.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department released a statement saying, “The department encourages voluntary cooperation from the community, but the department does have the authority to issue citations and, or make, misdemeanor arrests if all efforts for voluntary cooperation cannot be attained.”
"We can fight this out in the courts to determine whether or not officials in Mecklenburg County have this power, but that's to be litigated down the road," Owen said.
Owen recommends that you might carry documentation as to why you are out, for example a doctor’s note or company ID if you work at an essential business.
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