GREENSBORO, N.C. — Late Friday night, the Winston-Salem Police Department issued a statement clarifying that businesses can remain open under Governor Roy Cooper's March 14 executive order prohibiting mass gatherings. The order was designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Retail establishments can continue operating, including transportation stations, medical facilities, grocery stores, restaurants, airports, libraries, shopping malls, and other businesses, according to information in the executive order cited in the police press release.

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The executive order does prohibit gatherings of 100 or more people in settings like auditoriums, stadiums, meeting halls, or any other confined indoor or outdoor space.

The Winston-Salem Police Department said it has received a number of inquires from citizens concerned that businesses are continuing to operate illegally in violation of the executive order.

Cooper also issued an executive order banning eat-in service at restaurants and bars amid the spread of the coronavirus.

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