Wake officials issue stay-at-home order
Wake County officials discuss a stay-at-home order during the coronavirus pandemic.
on our county staff have been working tirelessly behind the scenes up into this point certainly into the future A CZ We continue to work with the Code 19 crisis here in North Carolina's capital I'm joined here by the kind of manager David Ellis Wait Man Health and Hospital CEO Donna Jensen a Duke Raleigh hospital chief medical officer Dr Michael Spirit lives Wake County director of human resources Regina had away we kind of the best director and medical director Dr has a bias We can't emergency manager team leader Shawn Patel and we're also joined today by Wake County Sheriff Drop Baker Sheriff She's joining us with us today Do you encourage social distancing to encourage social distancing We're hosting this news conference virtually and we will take questions from the media over the phone in a few moments Uh I would like to personally thank all of you for your understanding and our need to shift time of our news conference today As you can imagine responding to a pandemic requires a lot of complex decision making and responsible You do not take lightly We wanted to get it right today So again it takes time We appreciate your flexible of flexibility and accommodating our schedule change So we've come together today to share some important news with you and we want to explain it from all sides That's why we have our experts with us here today We feel it's important to hear from them directly When you're dealing with a situation like Covad 19 having the perspective of the people on the front lines of the response effort is most important As you know just this past Sunday we took steps to slow the spread of the virus here in Wake County Knowing full well that we might have to take additional safeguards is time warranted And that time has come after speaking extensively with our colleagues at our hospitals and our municipalities across Way County It is clear that Maur active measures are necessary to help reduce the spread of covert 19 that would place a tremendous stress on our health care system and to protect our most vulnerable citizens Based on this and with guidance from the state this afternoon I signed a proclamation that puts a state home order into effect Starting tomorrow at 5 p.m. It will remain in place until April 17th At that time we will re evaluate the cove in 19 situation here in Wake County and determine whether an extension is necessary to protect the public and our health care community The proclamation affects all of Wake County including the city of Raleigh and all of our 11 towns and our unincorporated areas as well My fellow commissioners and I as well as county staff are already working with our municipal leaders across the county to ensure we implement the state home order efficiently and effectively Now I would like to take this moment to thank all of our mayors across Wake County there council members their staff for their continued support and partnership during this unprecedented time Folks I want you to know that each of us your county commissioners your mayor's or city staff your council members um all of us struggled with many of these decisions that you're going to hear about today These were not easy calls but when you're talking about the public health the default answer was easy in the end But we think the struggle is justified and it makes sense Since the measures we are talking about today have such a tremendous impact on our everyday lives in our communities But the information is clear and so we are all united across the county This is necessary Today's announcement of a stay at home order is a decision of great gravity that no one has come to lightly It is a data driven decision This is why we have to do it The data supports it We'll hear from our hospitals and our professional staff in just a moment Who will follow up on that data and those experiences here on the ground right now in Wake County and what we expect in the two weeks to come We've heard also from so many of you who believe that this order has not come soon enough We've also heard from any of you who think it should never be issued at all There is no objectively correct answer here but the facts we have before us today now in this moment makes one thing clear The damage that this virus is doing to us and to our economy will be minimized by taking action today the long term economic impact of this pandemic will be mitigated by these actions now the length of time in which our lives are disrupted can be minimized by being proactive I spent my time as an educator and now is elected official asking people to do their civic duty by getting out in the community and getting engaged Now it is clear that our civic duty to ourselves and to each other is to stay at home This virus plays on our strengths our social nature and our connectedness as a community Isolating ourselves is not in our nature but it's exactly what we need to do to suppress this virus within our community Today when we prevail over covered 19 and we will sober rational and for data informed action will show us the way Please know that we will monitor this data and the circumstances to come continually and reevaluate our strategy to maximize the preservation of life while minimizing the impact on a residence and our community That said at this time I'd like to invite invite Wake County manager David Ellis to the podium David will go into more detail about what this stay at home order means for Wake County residents and for a business community David Thank you Chairman Forward Good afternoon everyone Wake County identified its first Positive Cove in 19 case on March 3rd Every day since then we've seen an increase in the number of cases As of 2 p.m. Today we have 100 positive cases of Cove in 19 in Wake County But that doesn't show the complete picture of how widespread Covert 19 is truly in Wake County With the state confirming that the virus it could be anywhere in our community we know the number of people who are actually infected with the virus is likely much higher Experts like Dr Cabaniss and director Regina Pet Away have been working in lockstep with our emergency operations center public health team and the health care community to look at models from other cities and other countries who are weeks ahead of us in their response efforts What we're seeing is the more places limited contact between residents and the earlier they did it the slower the virus spread and by flattening the curve a term you've all heard by now hospital saw fewer people who needed emergency care and hospitalizations and first responders didn't have to use their limited personal protective equipment too to as often which are all positive outcomes Based on case studies like these and our best projections staff have recommended to Chairman Ford and local Benin simple leaders to put a stay at home order in place We applaud them for taking this additional step to protect our community because the alternative is scary For example on March 5th New York State had 22 cases of Corona virus 20 days later more than 30,000 people who have become infected The exponential growth has put an incredible strain on their community in Wake County are hospitals have about 1700 bids 60 to 70% of those bids are in use at any given time If you do some basic math you can see we could quickly run out of beds if we saw the same type of exponential growth that is occurring in other communities Implementing the state home order will help us slow the spread of the virus produced a strain on our healthcare system and save lives Now that you understand why we support the stay at home order let's discuss what it means for residents and businesses in our community I want to clearly explain what you can do as well as what you cannot do first As the name suggests this is a stay at home order so you need to be stay at home for to be successful Further reducing social interactions will reduce the chances that you or your family will be exposed to the virus Approved reasons for leaving home include seeking medical attention Social service is or help from law enforcement or E M s going to the grocery store to purchase food picking up takeout meals from restaurants going to the pharmacy for prescriptions shopping for tools and equipment for work or home and visiting family members of individuals that you care for Just remember to practice social distancing when you're away from home The proclamation allows you to go outside so our parks and Greenway's will continue to be open You can run walk and play with immediate family members again Remember six feet away from anyone you may encounter on the Greenway or in one of our nature preserves is recommended We're asking all residents who may fall into the high risk category that's pregnant women people over age 65 or those were significant underlying health conditions not to leave home if possible Unless they're going to see a doctor we'll talk a little bit about essential workers They include hospital and medical staff law enforcement officers E M s and other government employees who work at any of the essential operations that they were referenced earlier They're free to travel to and from work under the new proclamation the state home Odor Also we'll add new restrictions to public and private gatherings It bends It bans mass gatherings of any size beyond your immediate family These include playdates party social clubs religious service is and in person meetings for worship Service is we're allowing the minimal number of staff needed to produce online streaming for their congregations to do so while practicing strict social distancing Our Wake County Cove in 19 Web page list examples of different types of businesses and shows which ones can remain open Under this new proclamation and which ones must close under the staying Under the state home order all nonessential facilities service's operations and retail businesses must close Many of these businesses already closed due to previous mandates from the county and the state businesses that provide essential service is like grocery stores hardware stores doctor's offices and pet care stores can remain open We're asking businesses that are allowed to stay open Make every effort to follow strict social distancing practices If you have a question businesses can call our dedicated information line with any questions about how the stay at home order may affect their business That number is 919 8567420 That's 9198567420 Our team will answer your calls from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Seven days a week We know these new restrictions may be challenging and no one wants to hear they can't get out and spend time with friends or family or visit some of the impressive sights here Wake County But taking these steps now will protect our most at risk residents and reduce the stress on our health care system In the weeks ahead We know we're asking you to make sacrifices Change is never easy but wait County residents are resilient and we will come through this stronger on the other side I want to take a moment and introduced Donald Gins IQ who is the president of Health and Hospitals for Weight Med and have him share a little bit about what they're seeing in the hospitals and how this order can help flatten a curve Don't thank you very much Good afternoon Chairman Ford I just want to thank our leadership in our community and across the state for its steadfast support in We're willing to consider what efforts weakened due to be able to stem the growth has was talked about earlier It has been doubling about every two and 1/2 days And so while you had two and now it's 100 you can see that every two and 1/2 days it'll continue to grow the ultimate around protecting those vulnerable well populations And so by taking on an effort in an action to stem exposure our health care delivery systems our emergency response systems ken for the vast vast vast majority take care of them treat them and send them home What poses the challenges when that growth isn't flattened in health care Delivery systems get overwhelmed that the challenge continues in how we meet those those needs so these efforts from the simplest of washing hands regularly These efforts around maintaining a proper social distance Thes efforts around liming limiting contact so you don't spread it as fast will allow the incredible health care delivery system and in social service systems that we have in place here to be able to meet your needs if and when that needs to happen So I thank you for your leadership I think everyone for their support I especially think our first responders and our health care teams that are on the front lines every day 24 hours a day seven days a week and making sure that we protect them as well So God bless you all and thank you for your time this afternoon Thank you for inviting me to also make a few comments I applaud you in the county for making this decision a CZ We all have heard this term flattening the curve We have gotten to a point in the epidemiology of the spread of this virus that says that this virus is in our community members As we stand here today we no longer need to ask if somebody has been in Wuhan China or traveled from Milan Italy to understand and exposure We believe right now that we are all potentially carrying this virus which is why we're sitting here six feet apart from each other making certain we wash our hands and keeping the surfaces clean expecting that I can give this virus to the people sitting next to me And it is that fear that warrants this action for people to stay at home to only allow those activities that Mr Ellis outline that says we should be socially distancing ourselves from everybody caring for our loved ones But when we are about in the community we inadvertently Kenbrell in that back to that vulnerable population that Mr Ginsberg talked about so in Health system's working very very closely together to prevent and hope that we can prevent what we're seeing in New York City now which is unfathomable for those of us in health care We could look at it in another country and say this would never happen here and then for all of us who've traveled to New York City and realizing their living that nightmare currently at this time it is because of that community spread And so the actions taken today is something that the health care systems have all been advocating for which will allow us to not see that inevitable overwhelming of the health care system both on the strains on the healthcare system itself and our caregivers but also on the loss of lives That will happen if we don't take those necessary actions to reduce the spread of this disease and allow us to continue to take care of both the patients that have this virus and all as well as the other populations that still need our care So thank you for the courage to do this At this time we'll take a few questions from our local reporters if you would state your name and the organization you're with adding onto that at this time we're going to a Knute all participants in our WebEx conference call If you have background audio going such as a television or a radio on in the background we will hear that in our press conference room So please mute any background noise at this time Wait E Does anyone have any questions holding her wicky with TV at 17 Yeah uh I'm question about our hotel's allowed to stay open at this time And who's in charge of enforcing this Say someone get pulled over and they don't have documentation Well they decided What what The law enforcement angle there This'll start Sam Patel Wake County Emergency Management So we in the proclamation all businesses are required to close unless they meet The exceptions listed as a central business is the specific question about hotels Hotels are considered essential under the federal government's definition of the 16 sectors of critical infrastructure s so yes in Wake County hotels are exempted from closing at this time From enforcement perspective I'd like to call the sheriff to speak as well But as the manager and the chair mentioned this is a comprehensive effort from all of our municipal partners on And as we did with previous proclamations we want to make sure that we have a consistent approach to enforcement as well Thank you Thank you from a law enforcement standpoint And again the chairman and uh kind of manager and healthcare leaders have again reiterate reiterated how serious Ah situation that we're in a law enforcement standpoint We hear that what kind of sheriff's office is here to stand behind our leaders the decisions ever made as a governor comprehensively What's going to be safe Awake Counting So we happen to be out there and you get stopped We're trying to determine why you there We're gonna ask for your patience and you know toe work with us because we're here We're trying to enforce the The instructions in the order has been given us which is trying to make sure that you have a reason to be there on be out because you know we don't need anybody out who doesn't need to be out So that's gonna be where we're coming from We're gonna be asking you very calmly very politely to you know to come into compliance with what's been asked of us to do ask you to return home if you're not hit it to any of those specific places on We just asked you to be very patient with officers out there It should that happen to you We're here to do ever Wake County needs us to do from a law enforcement standpoint We'll question use Gerber questioner with spectrum news So I wanted to follow up on what the sheriff said just now Just to clarify are you going to be setting up checkpoints Are you going to potentially bowling people over Can you give us a little bit more specifics about how you plan to enforce this No we've not planning to do in the checkpoints We're just going to try to monitor it as we normally do Routine patrolling Um again if we get to a point where you're looking at the hour you know usually as a result of this order and this proclamation that really shouldn't be very much traffic out there So we'll look at that and we'll try to be a river You know um make sure that any stops that we do we're gonna be to determine if someone needs to be out there I don't know how much it will be It is It's not We can't sit here and say it's gonna be a great was not certainly not gonna be an aggressive um enforcement but we'll be out there trying to make sure that there's always being We're enforcing this order because it's gonna be very important that you stay home And so that's what our job is gonna be and we're gonna try to do it you know without any problems on duh again to make sure that no one's out who shouldn't be out Hi this is Gloria Rodriguez with ABC 11 I was wondering about a couple businesses if they are deemed essential and if they can stay open Nurseries hem for ZBZ businesses and golf courses So I believe the question was nurseries hemp or CBD shops And what was the last one that was questioned Golf course Copy All right so as it is in the proclamation the proclamation is available on Wait Counties website as we speak But again as we mentioned earlier all businesses are being asked to close unless they meet the definition of essential that is in there So for example for golf courses the ability for our public to go out there and exercise and be out there The golf courses can remain open as long as they meet the strict definitions of social distancing that are in the proclamation But their retail shops and the other parts of their businesses will have to be closed for the hem in CBD shops If they meet the needs of healthcare than our healthcare functions Ah and pharmacies are listed in there as exempt a SW Far as I know the nurseries are not listed in there as exempt businesses as an essential function Air Johnson within ISMs Ever following up on that question Can you define if ABC stores the gun shop and pawnshops are included as a central businesses Yes s o The ABC stores in the state of North Carolina are a governmental function on So there are exemptions in place for governmental functions the gun shops and pawnshops And I'll defer to the sheriff in here is well but they are not listed as essential functions in the order they won't next question Berg questing with spectrum news Uh the terms stay at home Order and shelter in place are all getting flung around quite a bit over the last couple of weeks Can you explain how this order differs from what most people think of as a shelter in place Yes So Wake County chose the term stay at home because that's what this order is We are telling the residents and the visitors toe Wake County to stay at home We cannot be more clear about that To stop the spread of this virus to slow the spread of this virus The compliance of the community is essential and for that this order is specifically to stay at home Additionally we did not use the terminology the other terminology mentioned because those are used in other plans and procedures for example imminent threats for hazardous materials or the nuclear plant And so we did not want to confuse those And we wanted to make sure we were as clear as possible that this order is asking those people in Wake County to stay at home and that there is no sort of kind of gray space there A CZ the manager mentioned as our healthcare partners have mentioned that without this stay at home order we will overwhelm our health care system and we will not be able to stop the spread of this virus And we have time for one more question If you mentioned that it's not gonna be an aggressive enforcement and you mentioned you would ask people calmly you comply with the order If they didn't comply what are the potential consequences or citations that they could face of the action of that point would be But we receive in the the terminology that we were used to site someone by Citation um how it's gonna be in reference to involved in non compliance to the proclamation So if you're out and you're not supposed to be out and that contact with that officer and that person went beyond what it should be then that also if he has to that point take more action on to the point of sight nor charging someone We have the verbals from the D A's office that gives us what we need to cite you on release You supply you with a court day which is more likely gonna be postponed pushed back to the courts being closed But that's gonna be where we're going Try to start if it gets into a true enforcement situation But you know we again can't imagine said spoke We all have our citizens here Wait can we know there was going to comply on We're just going to be very very soft handed and trying to enforce this proclamation Anything beyond that I can assure you will be a direct result of the contact with that officer It won't be on the officers part Thank you Okay Thank you for participating in our David Just Hello this is Regina Head away I'm your Wake County Human Service is director also service your public health director And I just want to thank everyone for how much you've done so far If you look out your window right now you see very few cars on the street You see very few people walking down the street And I think for the most part we are invested in this We will never get 100% compliance But I'd like to see close to that weight county because we need it to buy our health care system some time to build their capacity and to move people in and out so that they can care for the people who are the most sick right now And I'd also like to ask you to continue to do the good job that you're doing and helping us to remind people what they have the personal power to do which is wash your hands very well Try not to touch your face Keep your social distance six feet apart and so again Thank you so much And I would like to thank our officials here too as you can see Wait County You're really really lucky to have this kind of support in this kind of leadership but we really need to hunker down This is very serious and we'll get through it but it's gonna take us a little while Thank you Thank you Director Pet away Thank you for all the reporters who have joined us today Again Please visit our website Debbie Debbie Debbie dot Wait Gove dot com Backslash cove in 19 And thanks again for participating Please take care of yourself and each other