Mayor Saffo says shelter in place order could come ‘sooner rather than later’

Mayor Saffo says shelter in place order could come ‘sooner rather than later’

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Mayor Bill Saffo of Wilmington says local leaders may be moving in the direction of putting a ‘stay at home’ or ‘shelter in place’ order in effect, to help stem the spread of the coronavirus.

"We feel there is going to be some need for a shelter in place order sooner rather than later,” the mayor said Wednesday afternoon. “But going through those specifics, and working with the county, working with other leaders in the region, especially the beach communities that also have individual mayors and councils, I think is going to be imperative."

Several cities have already implemented similar orders, including Durham, Winston-Salem and Asheville. An order approved by Mecklenberg County Commissioners and the City of Charlotte goes into effect Thursday morning. Saffo said leaders here would likely model any local ordinance after that order. Click here to see the details of what it includes.

"That is the model we will be looking at moving forward because it is very well defined, and it tells you specifically what jobs and what types of essential services are we going to allow to get out and about," Saffo said.

Saffo said he has had conversations with doctors and health officials about the need to keep people from any unnecessary travel, potentially exposing themselves to the coronavirus and unknowingly putting their loved ones and others at risk.

“I have had a lot of folks who have contacted me saying people are not doing the separation when they are having to wait in line at a grocery store, maybe they are having to wait in line before a store opens,” he said. “So, it’s a concern of ours."

Copyright 2020 WECT. All rights reserved.