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Guidance for Residents

On March 23, 2021, Gov. Roy Cooper issued Executive Order No. 204 to continue relaxing some of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions. Wearing masks in public remains mandatory. Unless updated by the governor, the order will expire on April 30 at 5 p.m.

Here are the current restrictions:

  • Gatherings are limited to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors;
  • There is no longer a curfew nor limits on the late-night sale of alcohol;
  • Mask wearing and social distancing of at least six feet remain mandatory at businesses;
  • Operations up to 100% capacity indoors and outdoors are allowed at:
    • Museums and aquariums;
    • Retailers; and
    • Salons, personal care and grooming businesses, tattoo parlors.
  • Operations up to 75% capacity indoors and 100% capacity outdoors are allowed at:
    • Restaurants;
    • Breweries, wineries and distilleries;
    • Recreation facilities, such as bowling alleys, skating rinks and rock climbing walls;
    • Fitness facilities. such as gyms, yoga studios and other fitness centers;
    • Pools; and
    • Amusement parks.
  • Operations up to 50% capacity indoors and outdoors are allowed at:
    • Bars;
    • Movie theaters (up to 75% outdoors);
    • Gaming facilities (up to 75% outdoors);
    • Meeting, reception and conference spaces;
    • Lounges (including tobacco) and night clubs;
    • Auditoriums, arenas and other venues for live performances; and
    • Sports arenas and fields for professional, collegiate and amateur events.

Activities and settings are lower risk when they involve interacting with fewer people, being outside, keeping masks on the entire time, keeping interactions with others under 15 minutes, staying physically distant, and avoiding singing, yelling and cheering.

For more info on North Carolina’s COVID-19 response, call the NC 2-1-1 hotline or consult the state’s COVID-19 guidance resources.

Wear. Wait. Wash.

If you do leave home, practice your W’s: Wear, Wait, Wash

  • Wear a cloth face covering if you will be with other people.
  • Wait 6 feet apart. Avoid close contact.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.

These actions can protect our families and neighbors as the state takes a cautious step forward while the virus is still circulating.

Risk for Severe Illness Increases with Age

Among adults, the risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age, with older adults at highest risk. Severe illness means that the person with COVID-19 may require hospitalization, intensive care, or a ventilator to help them breathe, or they may even die. The CDC has guidance for older adults, including tips to reduce your risk of contracting the virus.

What To Do If You Feel Sick

  • If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 contact your health care provider or telehealth program to discuss whether you should be evaluated for testing.
  • Community partners are providing testing sites throughout Wake County for any experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • If you fall within one of our specific targeted groups, you may be a good candidate for our free drive-thru testing.
  • If you have trouble breathing, call 9-1-1.

Who Should be Tested for COVID-19

North Carolina is focused on rapidly increasing testing of people who may not currently have symptoms but may have been exposed to COVID-19. NCDHHS released updated guidance for doctors and clinicians on who should be tested for COVID-19.

This includes:

  • Anyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
  • Close contacts of known positive cases, regardless of symptoms. The CDC defines “close contact” as being within 6 feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. That includes up to two days before the person began showing symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Groups of some of the populations with higher risk of exposure or a higher risk of severe disease if they become infected. People in these groups should get tested if they believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19, whether or not they have symptoms.
  • People who live in or have regular contact with high-risk settings (e.g., long-term care facility, homeless shelter, correctional facility, migrant farmworker camp).
  • People from historically marginalized populations who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. This fact sheet provides best practices for community testing in historically marginalized populations.
  • Frontline and essential workers (grocery store clerks, gas station attendants, child care workers, construction sites, processing plants, etc.)
  • Health care workers or first responders.
  • People who are at higher risk of severe illness.
  • People who have attended protests, rallies, or other mass gatherings could have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or could have exposed others.

Information on Wake County’s testing opportunities can be found here.

Get Your Health Questions Answered

UNC Health, WakeMed Health & Hospitals and Duke Health have also created dedicated COVID-19 health lines to help answer specific health-related questions and to help people assess their risk.

UNC Health

UNC Health patients with coronavirus symptoms should call their primary care provider’s office to determine if and where they should be tested for COVID-19. This may result in a referral to a UNC Health Respiratory Diagnostic Center or to a UNC Virtual Care center.

UNC Health patients can also call a UNC Health Helpline at 1-888-850-2684 before visiting a doctor’s office or an urgent care location. Please note: This HelpLine is experiencing high volumes of calls. The current hours for UNC Health Respiratory Diagnostic Centers are 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m.–noon Saturday and Sunday.

WakeMed Health & Hospitals

Patients can call the WakeMed Health Help Line at 919-350-5200 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to connect with a provider for an initial phone evaluation.

WakeMed Virtual Urgent Care can also help evaluate COVID-19 risks, assess symptoms and provide support by video to help you find the most appropriate level of care while minimizing exposure. You can be seen online 24/7 using a smartphone, tablet or computer without leaving home. Consults are available on-demand, and no appointment is necessary. To get started, visit wakemed.org/virtual-urgent-care or download the WakeMed All Access App.

Duke Health

Duke Primary Care and Urgent Care have opened dedicated Respiratory Care Centers to diagnose and address people experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms. People who are experiencing symptoms can call the Duke Health COVID-19 hotline at 919-385-0429 between 8 a.m. — 8 p.m. seven days a week. Nurses will triage callers and advise on whether self-quarantine, tele-medicine or in-person appointments are recommended.

You can learn more about Duke Health’s COVID-19 response here.

How to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

We’re all in this together. Do your part by practicing the following health and safety guidelines, and we can help prevent the virus from spreading in our community.

  • Practice social distancing
  • Wear a cloth face covering if you will be around other people
  • Stay home if you are ill
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that get touched often
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • Discard tissues after a single use
  • Take precautions to prevent pets from spreading the virus.

Contact Information

Please note that any email correspondence sent to any of the above email addresses could be subject to North Carolina’s Public Records Law (Chapter 132 of the North Carolina General Statutes).


Resources for More Information