Stay At Home Order Provisions

Graphic with Winston-Salem logo that says stay at home order in English and SpanishIn response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), Mayor Allen Joines has issued a Stay At Home order affecting all residents and nonessential businesses in the City of Winston-Salem. 

The order is valid from 5 p.m. Friday, March 27, 2020 through 12:01 a.m. Thursday, April 16, 2020. This order may be revised as the situation warrants. 

This page summarizes the most important parts of the 14-page order. Please read the full order (PDF) and Frequently Asked Questions for complete guidance. Mira en español: "Orden de permanecer en casa" (PDF)

Stay At Home

All people currently living within the City of Winston-Salem are restricted to stay at their places of residence. People may leave their residences only for:

All Essential Businesses are strongly encouraged to remain open. To the greatest extent feasible, Essential Businesses shall comply with Social Distancing requirements as defined below.

Nonessential Business and Operations Must Cease

All businesses and operations in the city are to cease all activities except for:

Restrictions on Gatherings

All public and private gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. The gathering of members of a household or residence is permitted.

All indoor and outdoor places of public amusement where people may gather, including but not limited to, locations with amusement rides, carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, aquariums, zoos, museums, arcades, fairs, children’s play centers, playgrounds, recreation centers, funplexes, theme parks, bowling alleys, movie and other theaters, concert and music halls, and country clubs or social clubs shall be closed to the public.

Social Distancing Requirements

  • Maintain at least a six-foot social distance from other people.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible or use hand sanitizer.
  • Cover coughs or sneezes into your sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
  • Regularly clean high-touch surfaces.
  • Do not shake hands with others.

Provisions for Elderly & Vulnerable

Those who are vulnerable because of illness should take additional precautions. People at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, including elderly people and those who are sick, are urged to stay in their residence to the extent possible except as necessary to seek medical care. Nothing in this declaration prevents the Forsyth County Public Health director from issuing and enforcing isolation and quarantine orders or executing other duties as required pursuant to North Carolina General Statue 130A.

Nursing home, long-term care and assisted living facilities

Residents of nursing homes, long-term care and assisted living facilities can have only one adult visitor per day. Before entering, visitors must be screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Visitors must show identification and sign into a visitor log with contact information. Visitors will be restricted to the resident’s room and must follow social distancing requirements.


Essential Activities Still Allowed

  1. Health & Safety
  2. Necessary Supplies & Services
  3. Outdoor Activity
  4. Certain Types of Work
  5. Taking Care of Others
  6. Essential Travel

To engage in activities or perform tasks essential to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members (including, but not limited to, pets), such as, by way of example only and without limitation, seeking emergency services, obtaining medical supplies or medication, or visiting a health care professional for medical services that cannot be provided virtually.


Definitions of Allowed Work Activity

  1. Minimum Basic Operations (All Businesses)
  2. Essential Businesses & Operations
  3. Essential Infrastructure
  4. Essential Governmental Functions
  5. Health Care & Public Health Operations
  6. Human Service Operations

Minimum Basic Operations include the following, provided that employees comply with Social Distancing Requirements, to the extent possible, while carrying out such operations:

  • The minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the business’s inventory, preserve the condition of the business’s physical plant and equipment, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or for related functions.
  • The minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees of the business being able to continue to work remotely from their residences.



Enforcement of Provisions

You can report a Stay at Home Order violation online.

The order specifically states that anyone found violating this declaration "shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor in accordance with North Carolina General Statue 14-288.20A." However, in practice, only in the case of egregious noncompliance will law enforcement resort to fining someone. Law enforcement may ask groups of 10 to more to distance themselves, but law enforcement will not pull people over and ask where they are going.