The Ocracoke Health Center is not allowing walk-ins but only scheduled appointments. Call 252-928-1511.  Photo: C. Leinbach

To read  about Ocracoke and other state updates, click here 

From our news sources; 4:07 p.m.

The Hyde County Board of Commissioners today amended the State of Emergency Order restricting access to Ocracoke to include non-resident property owners that are not actively working on critical repairs of their homes or businesses.

Last week, the commissioners enacted the order restricting access to new visitors though not ordering the evacuation of visitors already on Ocracoke.

In this afternoon’s press release, Hyde County said this added restriction starting Tuesday, March 24, is “to limit the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible, while still allowing for rebuilding efforts to continue.”

 “If you are a contractor working on Ocracoke properties, you will still be permitted to access,” the release said. “If you can wait to work on your property, please do!”

Moving forward, these two classes of people, workers and non-resident property owners, will need to submit an online application to be issued a temporary permit to access the island. 

If you are a non-resident property owner and are not actively working on rebuilding efforts, you will be denied a permit.

If you meet the above criteria, you can fill out an application here. You can also visit this page for updated information on Ocracoke entry throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

For the priority entry list, click here.

In state news, Gov. Roy Cooper today announced new restrictions for residents of North Carolina in the threat of the encroaching coronavirus

Cooper, in an afternoon press conference, ordered the state’s K-12 public schools to remain closed for in-person instruction until at least May 15, banned gatherings of more than 50 people and ordered businesses such as gyms, movie theaters, barber shops and nail salons to close by 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The state now has at least 339 reported cases of coronavirus COVID-19. To date, there have been no deaths attributed to the virus, but Cooper did indicate state officials are aware of 11 hospitalizations.

Cooper stressed that grocery stores and restaurants providing delivery or take-out service would be allowed to remain open.

Cooper also strongly urge those who are in the high-risk category to stay at home as much as possible. Although he said he is not issuing a stay-at-home order, he said “this situation is always evolving.”

Addressing the school closing issue, N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson said that, “Last week, it became very clear that (the pandemic) was going to be a multi-month” event.

He urged parents and students at home to seriously engage in the online learning curriculum being offered by the public schools, noting, “We should not treat this as a long break.”

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