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Cornelius News

Stay-at-home order to go in effect Thursday

March 24. By Dave Yochum. With “community spread” under way in Mecklenburg County, officials have announced a stay-at-home directive this afternoon that takes a much more serious step toward enforcing social or physical distancing—and stopping the spread of potentially fatal COVID-19.

Violations could result in a misdemeanor.

The stay-at-home order will be effective at 8 am Thursday. Read it here.


During an open forum telephone conference call with US Rep Alma Adams, it was disclosed that there were more than 100 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mecklenburg County, which is the worst hotspot in North Carolina.

“I am hopeful all the citizens of Cornelius will take this order seriously,” said Mayor Woody Washam.

A stay-at-home order is similar to a shelter-in-place but more appropriate for a health emergency as opposed to, for example, a nuclear evennt.


Many businesses will be forced to close, said Dr. Michael Miltich, a physician and town commissioner in Cornelius. There will be an appeal process for business owners who feel their enterprise must remain open.

“Unfortunately too many of us didn’t socially distance. Too many groups of people were still being seen out and about,” Miltich explained.

“This has to stop if we want to limit death from this infection, which, if uncontrolled, will overwhelm our limited hospital resources,” he said.

Ultimately this will lengthen the time it takes to get through the pandemic, “but it will save lives as hospital resources and personnel will be able to keep up with the numbers of people infected,” Miltich said.


You can be infected and have serious symptoms—or not.

Under the stay-at-home order, you can go to the grocery, convenience or warehouse store, as well as a pharmacy or doctor. Restaurants can remain open for take-out, delivery or curbside pickkup or drive-in.

It will still be possible to take a walk, ride your bike, hike, jog—but not, for example, engage in a full-on basketball game with physical contact.

Mecklenburg County has far more cases than any other County in North Carolina, and this extra step will keep more people away from each other and begin to flatten the rate of new cases before the hospital system becomes overwhelmed,” said County Heath Director Gibbie Harris.

Gatherings over 10 are prohibited.




17 Responses to “Stay-at-home order to go in effect Thursday”

  1. I just read about the directive for Cornelius residents to practice “Stay at Home” during this pandemic that is upon us. And I want to thank you for making this hard, but necessary call to protect all of us. May we all remain safe in the middle of this awful storm.

    Posted by Deborah Schellhase | March 24, 2020, 3:08 pm
    • This is a stupid and not-well-thought-out order. Where are you going to go?
      Places are closed and other than stated stores and take-out places…… there is no where else to go…….. so the order was not needed. It is not necessary to issue this ridiculous order.

      Posted by Jim Esposito | March 25, 2020, 6:31 am
      • Your attitude is exactly the reason why the issue had to be ordered. Clean you house, your car, yourself, cook for yourself or someone elderly. Go outside, work in the yard, jog, walk, run. Call someone; parents, siblings relatives, friends, elderly, neighbors. Do for others. STAY AWAY FROM OTHERS.

        Posted by NANA | March 25, 2020, 2:00 pm
        • This is ridiculous! Everything was already closed anyways, we don’t need this order. Like where is there to go? Some people are taking this way to seriously, why can’t they just let the crazy people hide in their homes while everyone else goes out and has fun. Anyways my friends and I are having day parties all day, turn up!

          Posted by Emily Wilson | March 26, 2020, 1:16 pm
      • Jim, this order isn’t just about recreation. Close contact at work is the issue. This will absolutely decrease movement of people and reduce transmission. After the first wave (usually ~8-10 weeks for previous countries affected) there will likely be loosening so people can return to work. The recreational activities will likely have a longer restriction.

        Posted by Michael Hardee, MD | March 25, 2020, 2:29 pm
      • I am going to have to agree with you on this one. There is no place to really go except to carry-all restaurants, government offices closed. Pretty much everything is closed except for the grocery store and maybe the emergency room and veterinarian care. Not much to do except to stay at home watching TV, playing games and reconnecting with each other. The grocery store and the doctor’s office it’s about the only places I drive to. Outside of walking in my neighborhood this is it! This order is redundant and unnecessary!!!!

        Posted by Rick Malcom | March 25, 2020, 5:29 pm
  2. One would think, but it is definitely NOT spelled out expressly as an exception, that undertaking conduct and aactivity to comply with a court order would be excepted from the “stay at home” rule. So, can I continue to travel to swap my kids out per my court ordered custody order?One parent says it remains mandatory, the other, obviously, disagrees. Guess I really don’t have to worry about from a practical standpoint since courts are closed for now.

    Posted by Louis F McDonald | March 24, 2020, 7:50 pm
  3. Suit yourself. You do realize that ‘false bravado’ will be your demise

    Posted by John Stinson | March 25, 2020, 9:14 am
  4. If not for attitudes as posted above such measures would never need considered; lest action. This situation leaves no room for selfishness by the individual!! Your time would likely be better spent trying to come up with new and creative ways to protect yourself and those around you as opposed to b—-ing about being told what to do.

    Posted by Ashley | March 25, 2020, 1:05 pm
  5. Some people have to be told what to do. They said social distance but some people for example our friend there does not take it serious. This was the next step. So Stay Home! Please.

    Posted by Lee | March 25, 2020, 5:49 pm
  6. All of you people who are worried about contact with others are free to stay home yourselves. Why do you snowflakes always want the government to take charge and limit other people’s freedom? Sheep.

    Posted by Tim Gillis | March 25, 2020, 7:18 pm
  7. People like your jacked up attitude is the reason America is in this condition you are selfish greedy and hardheaded. Go somewhere and donate some of your cold snake blood and leave wise instructions to intelligent people

    Posted by Shirley | March 25, 2020, 7:33 pm
    • Intelligent self reliant people do not need to be instructed to do what is best. I for one also do not believe intelligent people resort to insults to try and express their opinions instead of logic.

      Posted by John Dixon | March 26, 2020, 9:57 am
  8. True. The idiots that would do these things are the ones who would get upset by the order.

    Posted by JL | March 25, 2020, 7:36 pm
  9. The stay-at home order or proclamation is about as dumb as it is enforceable. Social distancing is working just fine. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department says they are working to educate people to voluntarily comply with the order. However, if that doesn’t work police have the authority to give citations or arrest people in violation of the order. AND HOW ARE THEY TO KNOW WHERE I’M GOING WHILE DRIVING? All these announcement do is frighten people who haven’t thought it through.

    Posted by Jim Esposito | March 25, 2020, 9:48 pm
  10. Nowhere is his statement did he say not to social distance or avoid contact with others. He simply stated the order accomplishes nothing has people are already doing what the order expresses.

    Posted by John Dixon | March 26, 2020, 9:58 am

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