If you live in Guilford County, you may have to worry about catching the coronavirus, but one thing you don’t have to worry about – at least not for a while longer – is being evicted.

The Guilford County Sheriff’s Department – the arm of local government that conducts evictions – has announced, just in time, that the moratorium on evictions, which was set to end on Friday, May 1, will be extended through Friday, May 15.

According to a press release from the department, the further extension is, “unfortunately, necessary as circumstances created by the COVID-19 crisis have not significantly improved over the last two weeks.”

The ongoing moratorium first went into effect on Thursday, March 19 when the department suspended the execution of court-authorized legal documents that allow a sheriff to evict tenants. Those documents are based on prior legal judgments that landlords have brought against renters.

On the last day of March 2020, NC Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order No. 124. That order strongly encouraged the sheriffs in the state to delay, until regular court operations resume, the execution of eviction orders and some other orders in the name of public health and public safety.

According to the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department, “The moratorium on evictions is justified by the adverse financial and employment consequences suffered by many tenants resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the public health and safety dangers which would likely result by evicting tenants during this crisis.”

Guilford Sheriff Danny Rogers stated this week that, as May 15, approaches, he’ll re-evaluate the situation to determine whether or not the moratoriums on evictions should be extended yet again. The department is urging tenants unaffected by the pandemic to continue to pay their rent, and for landlords and tenants to work together to resolve rent issues. Landlords who cannot pay their mortgages because renters are unable to pay are also subject to some help from coronavirus relief responses.