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As COVID-19 Spreads, Protecting You And Your Right To Vote

LATEST: On May 5, 2020, Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order No. 138 to modify North Carolina’s Stay At Home order and transition to Phase 1 of slowly easing certain COVID-19 restrictions effective Friday, May 8 at 5 pm. Certain businesses remain closed as the state continues battling COVID-19.  

The Order removes the distinction between essential and non-essential businesses. Retail businesses are allowed to open at 50% capacity and will be required to direct customers to stand 6 feet apart, perform frequent cleanings, provide hand sanitizer when available, screen workers for symptoms and more. The Order allows people to leave their homes for commercial activity at any business that is open.

Certain businesses remain closed, including bars, personal care businesses, entertainment venues, and gyms. Restaurants may only continue to serve customers for drive-through, take out and delivery. All workers at retail and other businesses are recommended to wear cloth face coverings. Teleworking is still encouraged for businesses that can practice it.

Though small outdoor gatherings will be allowed in Phase 1, gatherings of more than 10 people generally are still prohibited. The Order encourages cloth face coverings to be worn when outside the home and in contact with others. Everyone who uses a face covering should adhere to this guidance without fear of profiling or bias.

During Phase 1, childcare facilities will be open to serve families of parents who are working or looking for work. These centers will be required to follow strict cleaning protocols. Summer day camps can operate in compliance with NC DHHS guidelines.

As the world continues to grapple with challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Democracy North Carolina is sharing ways to limit exposure to the virus and lower infection rates (also known as “flattening the curve”).

There are some common sense measures everyone can take to protect themselves and others from the spread of respiratory illnesses including coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.

It is also good practice to start being more aware of the number of times a day your hands touch an object or hard surface and then touch your face without being washed. Limiting the exposure of your nose, mouth and eyes to unwashed hands can help to protect from the spread of all germs and illnesses.

It is not recommended that people wear masks if they are well or stockpile them. Masks should be worn by people who are sick to prevent the spread of infection.

NCDHHS has also provided guidance on considerations of people with disabilities and other access and functional needs for COVID-19.

Need help paying bills or finding food?

  • Please call 211 or use their website to help you navigate the various statewide resources.
  • If you are at high-risk of contracting COVID-19, you can also request help from for supply deliveries and medical check-ups while you stay at home. If you don’t have reliable internet, call 919-459-5681.
  • If you live in Robeson or Cumberland County, here are some local organizations that can help.

More North Carolina Resources for Protecting Yourself

NC COVID-19 Call Center: 866-462-3821

For more information about the coronavirus’ affect on colleges and schools, public spaces, travel and more, visit NCDHHS’ Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Response in North Carolina website.

If you have specific questions or concerns related to coronavirus, call 866-462-3821 for more information. In the event of an emergency, please call 9-1-1.

Get the latest information from reliable sources to stay informed and help your family stay healthy. Check back often as information is changing.

Democracy NC Resources for Protecting Your Right to Vote

Democracy North Carolina is also encouraging our election officials and lawmakers to consider adopting emergency measures to protect public health and our right to vote, including NC’s upcoming May 12th runoff election and the November general election. In the process we’ll provide ways for you to take action.

Right now, you can do your part to protect our democracy by:

  • Filling out your census form online, by phone, or by mail. More on this process at
  • Attending virtual coalition meetings and informative online trainings. Learn more at
  • Getting involved with online voter outreach and volunteerism. Sign up now at
  • Working to make sure voters have full access during this fall’s crucial elections at
  • Recommit to voting in 2020. Sign and share our

Together we can help protect our communities while not losing sight of our important collective work of building a political system that works for all.