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NCNA Statement on Relaxing Stay-at-Home Restrictions

For Immediate Release

NCNA Statement on Relaxing Stay-at-Home Restrictions

April 21, 2020

Over the last few days, there has been increasing pressure for North Carolina to relax its “stay-at-home” restrictions. The North Carolina Nurses Association (NCNA) is concerned about the economic impact of this pandemic but cannot support such calls at this time.

NCNA would endorse a staged reduction in social distancing after the state has achieved three important goals:

  1. a consistent drop in cases over a two-week time period;
  2. reliable access to testing and personal protective equipment (PPE) without the need for rationing either, and;
  3. the ability for ample contact tracing. 

At this point, the state is not yet meeting any of those targets. North Carolina’s supply of PPE is still dangerously low in some parts of the state. The rationing of PPE and tests is well below evidence-based infectious disease protocols.

“We know that social distancing is working but relaxing North Carolina’s stay-at-home order at this point could be counterproductive,” NCNA CEO Tina Gordon said. “The last thing we want is to open up too soon, see another spike in cases, and have to reissue another stay-at-home order. That would put us right back where we are today or worse, with even more preventable deaths and likely a greater negative impact on the economy.”

In many cases, NCNA’s own members are bearing the brunt of COVID-19’s economic impacts. Elective surgeries and other healthcare visits have been canceled or reduced forcing many nurses to be laid off or furloughed.

“Flattening the curve is not easy for any of us, but it is the most efficient and effective way to prevent catastrophe,” Gordon said. “For the health and safety of patients, nurses, and fellow healthcare workers, we strongly urge Governor Cooper to keep North Carolina’s stay-at-home order in place for now.”


Chris Cowperthwaite, APR
Director of Communications & Outreach
(919) 821-4250 or

As the leading professional organization for North Carolina’s registered nurses, we equip nurses at all stages to thrive in an ever-changing healthcare environment. NCNA helps keep North Carolina nurses on the cutting edge of nursing practice, policy, education, and more. Join us as we work to advance nursing and ensure high-quality healthcare for everyone.

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The North Carolina Nurses Association serves the changing needs of its members, addresses nursing issues, and advocates for the health and well-being of all people.