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News Releases

North Carolina to Close all Restaurants and Bars for Dine in; Takeout and Delivery Still Allowed

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

NOTE: The following news release was issued by the Orange County Health Department. The Town of Hillsborough will be providing a listing of businesses in town that are offering curbside takeout and delivery services.

Effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, a new executive order closes restaurants and bars for dine-in customers but allows them to continue takeout and delivery orders. Governor Roy Cooper and the members of the Coronavirus Task Force announced the executive order and also included an expansion of unemployment insurance to help North Carolina workers affected by COVID-19.

Restaurants will be permitted to offer takeout and delivery services, according to Cooper. The order took effect at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 17. Cooper’s office did not indicate for how long the order would be in effect.

Expansion of unemployment benefits

Cooper’s executive order also includes an expansion of unemployment benefits, easing the criteria to obtain benefits. Notably, people seeking unemployment benefits because of COVID-19 related layoffs will no longer have to wait a week to file for benefits or complete an in-person interview. Employers won't pay additional unemployment insurance taxes for employment cuts related to COVID-19.

More information on applying for unemployment applications is available on the N.C. Department of Commerce Employee Security website.

Cooper addressed the “reality that people will lose jobs” and announced five changes to the state’s current unemployment system made by his latest executive order:

  1. Removes one-week waiting period before applying for unemployment benefits.
  2. Removes requirement that a person apply for jobs to be eligible.
  3. Allows applicants who lose jobs and, in some cases, have hours cut to apply for benefits.
  4. Permits online or phone applications.
  5. Directs the state not to hold employers financially responsible for benefits paid out due to COVID-19.

More information

On Saturday, Cooper issued an executive order closing all public schools in the state and banning gatherings of 100 or more people until at least March 30. People or businesses found in violation of the order could be charged with a misdemeanor.

"This will be a long and difficult road for us to travel, but we are North Carolinians and we are resilient," Cooper said.

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