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Stay-at-Home Phase One Begins 5 p.m. Friday

Post Date:05/08/2020 8:50 AM

UPDATE 5/8/2020 11 a.m.: Orange County is limiting attendance at funerals to 10 people.



The Town of Chapel Hill will follow North Carolina’s modified Stay-at-Home Order as outlined by Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order No. 138 beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, May 8. Additionally, Mayor Pam Hemminger signed a proclamation Wednesday, May 6, extending the Town’s State of Emergency through June 30, 2020.

“Governor Cooper’s executive team has provided guidance for a phased approach to reopening our state, and we are prepared to follow that guidance with few exceptions,” said Mayor Hemminger. “There is still work to be done to continue this fight against COVID-19, and I want to thank all our residents, visitors, and Town staff for your patience and protective measures to help reduce the spread of the virus so far. We are confident that with continued diligence we will all get through this together.”

Adjustments to Town Services

Offices of Orange County and its municipalities (Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Hillsborough) will not open to the public in Phase One. Timelines for reopening will be announced later.

  • Town of Chapel Hill yard waste collection remains suspended until further notice.
  • Chapel Hill Transit remains on a reduced schedule until further notice.
  • Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation remains closed.
    • Outdoor exercise continues to be encouraged, and access will be maintained to Town trails and greenways.
    • Playgrounds remain closed.
    • Facilities (like baseball and soccer fields, and tennis courts) with fences remain locked.
    • Buildings remain closed to the public.
  • Chapel Hill Public Library remains closed.
    • Beginning the week of May 10, Library staff will experiment with contact-free, curbside pickup of Library materials.A randomly selected test group of users who have had items on hold since the building closed are being invited to participate. An expanded curbside service will be offered later to all users as a part of larger re-opening efforts.
  • For more information about Town services during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit

Easing Restrictions in Phase One

Phase One of the reopening plan does not make major changes to the stay-at-home order. However, it allows more businesses to open, such as clothing stores, sporting goods stores, book shops, houseware stores, and other retailers. Any open stores must provide education to employees to combat misinformation and implement:

  • Appropriate employee and consumer social distancing.
  • Enhanced hygiene and cleaning protocols.
  • Symptom screening of employees.
  • Accommodations for vulnerable workers.

Gatherings are limited to 10 or fewer people. In public spaces where 6 feet of distancing isn’t possible, face coverings are recommended. Employers are encouraged to continue teleworking policies, and long-term care facilities and other congregant care settings will continue rigorous restrictions.

Guidance for Businesses

Highlights of Phase One include:

  • Any retail business may open at up to 50% capacity (according to the building’s occupancy rating). Businesses must practice social distancing, perform frequent cleanings, provide hand sanitizer when available, screen workers for symptoms and more.
  • Certain businesses will remain closed, including bars, personal care businesses, entertainment venues, and gyms. Restaurants may only continue drive-through, takeout and delivery.
  • Teleworking is encouraged for businesses that can practice it.
  • People may leave their homes for commercial activity at any open business.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) created materials for businesses in Phase One, including:

Water has been Sitting in your Business’ Pipes

When buildings are vacant or operating at significantly reduced capacity for a long period of time, the water that normally flows through the building sits in the pipes and devices. Disease-causing microorganisms, like the ones that cause Legionnaires’ disease, can begin to grow. Corrosion control can be impacted. Follow the guidance from Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) to reopen your property to employees and customers at:


UPDATE: Orange County is limiting attendance at funerals to 10 people.  

Future Phases

For information about phases two and three, visit

Helpful Links

More Information

  • Please visit
  • For questions about Town services, the Town’s Call Center is open at 919-969-5005 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • For health-related questions and questions about Orange County services (including recycling), visit the Orange County website at or call the Orange County Call Center at 919-245-6111, 8:30 a.m. to 5 pm daily.
  • The Orange County Health Department provides a weekly summary of cases on Fridays, at 9 a.m. The state updates its COVID-19 case count dashboard daily at 11 a.m.
    • Sign up for text updates from the Orange County Health Department by texting ocnchealth to 888-777.
  • For other health-related questions, call the NC Department of Health and Human Services (24/7) at 1-866-462-3821.


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