The Guilford County stay-at-home order expired at midnight on Thursday, April 16, which means Guilford County is now fully under the stay-at-home order for the state of North Carolina, which is set to expire on April 29 but could be extended.
Both the Guilford County and the North Carolina stay-at-home orders require people to stay at home unless they need to leave their homes for a permitted activity.
Allowing the Guilford County stay-at-home order to expire should end some of the confusion about the two stay-at-home orders, both of which applied in part to Guilford County. According to North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, who has far more power during an emergency than in normal times, the Guilford County stay-at-home order where it was more restrictive than the state order took precedence, while in areas that the state order was more restrictive it took precedence.
The end of the Guilford County stay-at-home order means that many businesses that were closed by that order are now allowed to open as long as they maintain the social distancing requirements.
The state order does not have the special restrictions on the real estate business that the county order did. So real estate professionals will be able to conduct business as long as they keep the social distancing requirements.
The state order doesn’t have the strict restrictions on church services that Guilford County did, where the number of services a church could hold was limited to one a week, cars had to be six feet apart and no more than 50 cars were allowed at a service regardless of the size of the parking lot. Nor does the state order require that only family members can sit together in a car at a church service.
The state order also allows up to 50 people to attend a funeral whereas the county order only allowed 10.
The state order does not have the special requirement for outdoor activity, which Guilford County added to its order stating, “Outdoor activity means outside exercise and/or recreational activity. It does not include outside activity for other purposes.” Those sentences may have been added to the county’s order to enhance the city’s position that associates of Love Life were not permitted to walk and pray.