A coalition of North Carolina hospitals has asked Governor Roy Cooper to issue a “shelter in place” order to prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases. 

The N.C. Healthcare Association represents all 130 hospitals in the state. 

The News & Observer reports the group sent a letter to Cooper Monday afternoon asking him to immediately order people to “shelter in place” to help stave off a surge in new coronavirus cases.

Steve Lawler, the association's president, wrote that because testing for COVID-19 is still limited, it's unknown if or how a sudden rise in new cases might overwhelm the healthcare system. He said it would be at least two weeks after an order is issued before the state would see a change in the trajectory of cases.

Lawler didn't specify what a "shelter in place" order would mean for residents, but he wrote that the goal would be to limit non-essential outings.

Cooper's office issued a statement echoing a point the governor made on Monday when he said the state “is preparing for every scenario.”

For the most up-to-date information on coronavirus in North Carolina, visit our Live Updates blog here.

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