PITT COUNTY, NC (WITN) Starting at 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, Pitt County officials are asking residents to avoid leaving the house, unless absolutely necessary. It’s part of the “Go Home. Stay Home,” initiative.
Pitt County Manager Scott Elliot says, "Go home, stay home unless you're working, buying groceries, going to the physician, doing some necessary visit or travel out in the public."
The county is urging residents limit travel to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Dr. John Silvernail, Pitt County Public Health Director says, "People need to be in close contact for this infection to spread and the more that we can spread them out the less likely they are to acquire the infection."
Silvernail hopes it will stop the increase in cases in the east. "If the actions that we've taken are working, then hopefully, we will not double every two days like the rest of the state is."
Elliot says he hopes the declaration won't be more than 14 days. "If not, then the chairman has the authority to extend that."
"Go Home, Stay Home" also restricts gatherings of 50 or more and closes some non-essential businesses such as gyms and barbershops.
Owner of Young Vision Barbershop in Greenville, Eric Barnes says he agrees with the decision.
Barnes says, "Overall, I think it will be a good thing. Because people will go home; haircuts and stuff will grow out, but they're all gonna come back."
Barnes says he prepared his staff for this. "We'll take a slight hit in business, but I do have a plan in place for my barbers. So, we can sustain for a little while."
Dr. Silvernail encourages everyone to take heed. "Go home, stay home. Do it for the ones you love. Do it for yourself."
Officials are also stressing that this does not affect places like financial institutions, hospitals, and retailers with essential goods. Liquor stores are also exempt.
Elliot also says law enforcement is asking for voluntary compliance from residents and do not plan to take action unless someone is adamantly opposing the request of an officer.