Howard’s Pub, which reopened for the last two weeks, will close for dining after today but will be have take-out service. Other island eateries also are making changes. See below. Photo: C. Leinbach

Updated March 18. 11:18 a.m. and March 19. 5:44 p.m. and March 24 and April 22.

By Connie Leinbach  and Peter Vankevich 

As of today, the state had at least 48 confirmed cases in 16 counties, with no fatalities. Hyde and Dare counties have not had any reports. 

Ocracoke, like everywhere else, has been and will continue to be affected. An earlier news story today announced that Dare County restricts visitor access, but Hyde County residents are exempted.

Here are some updates. 

Gov. Roy Cooper today issued an executive order to close all North Carolina bars and restaurants for in-house dining but is allowing for take-out and delivery. 

Grocery stores will remain open and he urged people not to “go overboard with buying, and leave some for others.”

Since this order will cost some people jobs, he outlined some changes made to receiving unemployment compensation. Those are 1. Removes the one-week waiting period before filing; 2. removes the requirement to look for another job; 3 allows those who lose jobs to apply for benefits right away; 4. they may apply via phone or online; 5. the state won’t require employers to pay for those who lose jobs because of the coronovirus.

“The new reality is people will lose jobs and businesses will lose customers,” Cooper said. “Some things are just going to have to change for a while. This will be a long and difficult road for us to travel.”

Howard’s Pub, only reopened in the last two weeks, and ramped down its service to take-out, but then closed again March 21.

Other island eateries posted the following changes:

1718 Brewing Ocracoke & Plum Pointe Kitchen:
Open for take out only, 5 to 8 p.m. Full Plum Pointe menu and discount crowlers.

Sorella’s Pizza & Pasta:
Open for take out or delivery (evenings only), Thursday through Monday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. Full menu except for appetizers and desserts.

Zillie’s hours will be 4 to 7:30 p.m. daily. Although we can’t serve food, wine or beer onsite, customers may still shop in our store for our great selection of wine, craft beer, and gourmet provisions to be enjoyed at home. If you prefer to not venture out, Zillie’s will deliver. Call 252-928-9036.

Taqueria 504suazo’s, Food truck, 58 Creek Road, 252-928-0068. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays.

Eduardo’s Mexican cuisine food truck at Irvin Garrish Hwy. and Lawton Lane is open daily from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a limited menu.

The Fudge & Ice Cream Shop in Community Square has reopened.

Many events scheduled in the near future are postponed or canceled. 

The 2020 Ocracoke Island Runfest Weekend, scheduled for April 25 and 26, is postponed to Nov. 14 and 15.

The WOVV annual meeting scheduled for March 19  has been canceled.

The PTA Talent Show, scheduled for March 21, has been postponed indefinitely, said Laura McClain, PTA president.

The North Carolina Shell Club spring meeting for March 26 and 27 has been canceled.

The Ocracoke Invitational Surf Fishing Tournament (April 29 to May 1) has been canceled.

The British Cemetery Ceremony scheduled for May 8 has been canceled. 

The Ocrafolk Festival the first weekend in June has been canceled.

Bread of Life Food Pantry: remote operation
In order to promote social distancing and protect our volunteers, the Bread of Life Food Pantry is suspending walk-in hours indefinitely effective immediately. Beginning Monday, March 23, the pantry will temporarily transition to a food hamper delivery system.

If you are in need of a food hamper delivery, please call 360-362-9796, or email Food hamper deliveries can be requested once a week per household.

The Ocracoke Community Library is closed.

NC Ferry Division
Has modified the routes to Ocracoke. See new schedule here.

Passengers are now being asked to remain in their vehicles for the duration of the voyage, if possible. Passengers who need to exit their vehicles are asked to follow guidelines developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including limiting contact with surfaces, remaining at least six feet away from other passengers and employees and washing hands for at least 20 seconds before returning to their vehicles.

Island churches
Are conducting drive-in church, “Honks and Hallelujahs,” at 10 a.m. Sundays at the Ocracoke School circle and live streamed on Facebook at The Kingdom on Ocracoke.

Ocracoke Island Mobile Veterinarian
The following is from Laura Trent, DVM: Ocracoke Mobile Veterinarian will depart Ocracoke on March 20 to go to rural Missouri for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic due to high risk family members.  Please contact the clinic at 252-923-3787.  There will be some availability by phone throughout for questions or records forwarding. 

Please order through 800Petmeds for any medication during our absence.  Chewy will have a hard time reaching me by phone  because of little to no mobile phone coverage in that area.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore
The Cape Hatteras National Seashore announced today that the visitor centers at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and Wright Brothers National Memorial are temporarily closed effective immediately.

In other news, off-road vehicle (ORV) permits can be purchased online

The status of each ORV ramp and beach route can be found at

Beachgoers should use caution in the ocean as no lifeguards are on duty at this time of year.

The Oregon Inlet Campground, the Seashore’s only year-round campground, is closed.

The grounds of Bodie Island, Cape Hatteras and Ocracoke Lighthouses are open.

The Ocracoke Island roadside cleanup scheduled for March 26 is canceled.

The National Park Service (NPS) is taking extraordinary steps to implement the latest guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and local and state authorities to promote social distancing.

Outer Banks Hospital
The Outer Banks Hospital has implemented new visitor restrictions.  Only one immediate family member over the age of 16 and not exhibiting any symptoms of illness may visit a patient at The Outer Banks Hospital and/or Medical Group clinic.

Starting today, The Outer Banks Hospital will begin screening patients and visitors for symptoms of illness as they enter the medical office building and main lobby.  Patients and visitors with illness will be masked and asked to sanitize their hands prior to going to their appointment.


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