Governor Roy Cooper announces executive order

Xanayra Marin-Lopez, Reporter

Earlier today, Governor Roy Cooper announced via Twitter that all North Carolina restaurants and bars end dine-in service effective at 5 p.m. and resort to takeout and delivery orders through an executive order. 

In his Twitter statement, Cooper hinted at an expansion of unemployment insurance in the order.

“I recognize this decision will cost people their jobs, so this order also brings them some relief. Today I am taking down some of the barriers to unemployment benefits in response to this unprecedented health crisis,” said Cooper at today’s media briefing

The governor detailed the executive order, saying it accomplishes “five important things.” 

  1. For workers who lose their jobs, there is no longer a one week waiting period to apply for unemployment benefits. 
  2. Workers are not required to look for another job during this time when potential employers are closed and social distancing guidelines remain. This also takes into consideration employers hiring employees after the pandemic subsides. 
  3. Employees who lose their jobs or have their hours reduced due to COVID-19 are allowed to apply for unemployment benefits. 
  4. Applicants can apply for benefits remotely via online or by phone. 
  5. Employers will not be held responsible for benefits paid as a direct result of COVID-19. 

“These changes are designed to lessen the hit on our economy and workers wallets. We know that people want to work and that businesses want to stay open, the reality is that many can’t,” Cooper said. 

Cooper said he believes there will be additional help for workers and businesses from the federal government. Cooper then called on Congress and the President to act on such.

The governor eased the state by assuring commitment from him and his administration to make the best decisions for North Carolina and to work tirelessly.

“Some things are just going to have to change for a while,” Cooper said. 

The order is expected to be effective by 5 p.m., March 17.