WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Wilmington elected officials planned to take a decisive step Monday in their response to the novel coronavirus, if Governor Roy Cooper hadn’t beat them to the punch.
The governor announced the stay at home order Friday at 4 p.m.
During the budget session Friday morning, Wilmington City Council members, some attending via video chat, got an update on COVID-19 and discussed the next steps the city will take.
“I think we as a city have to take some responsibility,” Mayor Pro-Tem Margaret Haynes said.
During the session, leaders planned to gather for a special meeting Monday morning at 9 a.m. to vote on a shelter-in-place or stay-at-home order similar to what Mecklenberg County approved in recent days, pending the governor issuing an executive order in the meantime.
Details of any restrictions will be worked out by city attorney John Joye in the next 24 hours, and distributed to the council Saturday.
If approved, the order would make official some of the city’s social-distancing recommendations.
Restrictions could include closing:
- Playgrounds and outdoor recreation equipment
- Country clubs and social clubs
- Non-essential retail establishments, including both indoor and outdoor shopping malls
- Dry cleaners
- Car and other vehicle dealerships
It would also require restaurants conducting carry-out food services to only have curbside pickup or delivery, and not allow customers to come inside and order food.
Council members discussed also cutting off short term rentals (STR) and hotel bookings, other than for medical personnel who are trying to isolate.
Many area beach towns have already discontinued short term rentals and vacation bookings, some through the end of April or until further notice.