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Where you can and can’t go under the stay-at-home order

The stay-at-home order takes effect at 5 p.m. Friday and remains in effect through 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, April 16.


What does the stay-at-home order mean?

This emergency order requires residents in Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem and Guilford County to stay home in an effort to reduce exposure with the goal of reducing the spread of COVID-19 and hospital admissions. The decision to issue the stay-at-home order was made with influence from the public health and medical communities.

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What are the dates for the stay-at-home order?

The stay-at-home order takes effect at 5 p.m., Friday and remains in effect through 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, April 16. It will be continually evaluated and modified based on the guidance from public health officials and experts.

What is allowed?

  • Go to the grocery, convenience or warehouse store
  • Go to the pharmacy to pick up medications and other healthcare necessities
  • Visit a health care professional for medical services that cannot be provided virtually (call first)
  • Go to a restaurant for take-out, delivery or drive-thru
  • Care for or support a friend or family member
  • Take a walk, ride your bike, jog and be in nature for exercise – just keep at least six feet between you and others.
  • Walk your pets
  • Take pets to the vet
  • Help someone to get necessary supplies
  • Receive deliveries from any business which delivers

What isn’t allowed?

  • Go to work unless you are providing essential services as defined by this order
  • Visit friends and family if there is no urgent need
  • Get closer than six feet from others
  • Visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility or other residential care facility, except for limited purposes as provided on the facility websites
  • Travel except for essential travel and activities

You can get this list right to your phone! Text keyword STAY to 336-379-5775.

What businesses and types of work are considered essential?

  • Healthcare, public health, law enforcement, public safety, and first responders
  • Food, beverage, and agriculture
  • Grocery stores and pharmacies
  • Transportation (airlines, taxi, public transportation, vehicle rental, logistics)
  • Media
  • Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation (auto supply, auto repair, bicycle shops, etc.)
  • Financial institutions such as banks, consumer lenders, credit unions, appraisers, title companies, financial markets, trading and future exchanges, entities that issue bonds, etc.
  • Hardware and supply stores
  • Critical trade occupations, such as building and construction, plumbers, electricians, exterminators, janitorial staff, security staff, HVAC, painting, moving and relocation services and other services that are necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences and businesses 
  • Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery and pick-up services
  • Laundry services
  • Restaurants for off-premise consumption (in-house delivery, third-party delivery, drive-thru, curbside pick-up and carry out)
  • Professional services, including but not limited to legal, accounting, and insurance
  • Childcare centers
  • Manufacturing, distribution and supply chain
  • Hotels and motels
  • Funeral services
  • Other community-based government operations and essential functions including human services
  • Other community-based human service operations
  • Hazardous materials 

Have questions about your type of work and if it's essential? Send an email: stayhome@guilfordcountync.gov

You can also leave a message, or reach a call center worker Monday-Friday, 8 am to 5 pm, at (336) 641-7527. 

What if I think my business should be closed, but they’re still asking me to report to work?

Essential businesses will remain open during the stay-at-home order. If you believe your business is nonessential but you are still being asked to show up to work, you should discuss it with your employer. If someone is aware of a non-essential order they may alert the county at www.guilfordcountync.gov.

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What is considered essential business/travel?

  • Shopping for necessary supplies and services
  • Providing necessary care for others
  • Traveling to work for essential business and operations
  • Traveling to a healthcare appointment
  • Outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, running, cycling, using greenways

Are personal services, such as nail salons, hair salons, barbershops, and tanning facilities classified as essential? No, businesses that provide personal services are not classified as essential and have been ordered to terminate their services by the Governor.

What if I split custody of my child with another parent?

Travel to comply with a custody order is permitted. 

Can construction and landscaping continue?

Yes. Residential and commercial construction and landscaping are permitted.

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What is considered essential travel?

  • Any travel related to the provision of or access to essential activities, essential government functions, essential business, and operations, or minimum basic operations
  • Travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons
  • Travel to and from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and other related services
  • Travel required by law enforcement or court order, including to transport children according to a custody agreement

I’m traveling to my essential job, to take care of a family member or for another essential trip. Do I need to carry proof that I’m allowed to travel?

No. Law enforcement will not ask you for proof if you are traveling for essential purposes.

How is “Stay at Home” different than “Shelter in Place?”

“Shelter-in-place” is a term we use when people need to stay put for the duration of a natural disaster, such as a tornado or hurricane, or a nuclear event. In these instances, residents need to find a safe place to take physical shelter until the danger passes. Unlike a shelter-in-place order, which may last a few hours or days, we need people to stay at home for at least a few weeks.

“Stay-at-home” means just what it says. To stop the spread of the virus, we need people to stay in their homes except to make the most essential trips. Essentially, this is just a stricter version of the social-distancing guidelines we’ve all become familiar with in the past weeks. COVID-19 spreads when people are close to one another, so we’re banning gatherings and nonessential business operations and trips.

You can get this list right to your phone! Text keyword STAY to 336-379-5775.


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Remember facts, not fear when talking about the coronavirus. You should take the same measures recommended by health leaders to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses. That means washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, and covering coughs and sneezes.

RELATED: Facts Not Fear | What you need to know about the COVID-19 outbreak


It is important to make sure the information you are getting about the coronavirus is coming directly from reliable sources like the CDC and NCDHHS. Be careful not to spread misinformation about coronavirus on social media.

For more information visit the CDC OR NCDHHS


The state also has a special hotline set up where you can call 2-1-1 or 866-462-3821 for more information on the coronavirus. You can also submit questions online at ncpoisoncontrol.org or select chat to talk with someone about the virus.

You can also text keyword VIRUS to WFMY News 2 at 336-379-5775 to find out more information.

Stay connected to local, national and breaking news: Download the new WFMY News 2 app. 

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