Pitt County COVID-19 UpdatesMarch 24, 2020 – Published by Robinson Law Firm
On Monday, March 23rd, Governor Cooper entered Executive Order 120 that amended Executive Order 117 to reduce the number of people defined as a “mass gathering” from more than 100 to more than 50; ordered that specific entertainment facilities and personal care and grooming businesses close for business, and put in place long term care visitation limitations, effective at 5:00 pm on March 25th for a period of 30 days unless rescinded or superseded. The order directed that all public schools close for students, effective March 16th through May 15, 2020. This order also directed local government agencies to continue to exercise their responsibilities to protect lives and property, including social distancing and use of reasonable personal protective equipment.
Last night, the Pitt County Board of Commissioners enacted a “Go Stay Home Order”. The order was enacted after a “shelter in place” motion. This order is substantially more aggressive than the Governor’s order entered earlier in the day. The order applies to all unincorporated areas of Pitt County, limits all non-essential travel in these areas, and limits the number of people in an assembled group to no more than 10. The order is effective at 5:00 pm on March 25th until April 8th unless rescinded or superseded. The order lists “essential services”, but does not provide a list or examples of “non-essential services”.
The “Go Stay Home Order” does not set out the incorporated areas of Pitt County and thus, has caused confusion amongst county residents. For clarification purposes, those areas of Pitt County that are incorporated include: Ayden, Bethel, Falkland, Farmville, Fountain, Greenville, Grifton, Grimesland, Simpson, and Winterville.
The Greenville City Council also met last night but did not enact any restrictions similar to those of the County Commissioners. The City Council did give the Mayor the power to enact a similar proclamation if he deemed it necessary.
It is essential that governing officials for the County and for the City confer before and when considering restrictions and enacting proclamations to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unity of consideration and actions will ensure that proclamations that are enacted are thoroughly vetted and drafted with precision and clarity to avoid confusion when compliance is expected. A “Greenville-Pitt County COVID-19 Task Force” is needed for these purposes.