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Gov. Roy Cooper holds the Republican budget in his left hand, his suggested changes in his right, as Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue looks on. (via WRAL) Gov. Roy Cooper holds the Republican budget in his left hand, his suggested changes in his right, as Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue looks on. (via WRAL)

Gov. Roy Cooper holds the Republican budget in his left hand, his suggested changes in his right, as Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue looks on. (via WRAL)

Paul Specht
By Paul Specht April 8, 2020

No, North Carolina didn't shut down its borders to prevent coronavirus

If Your Time is short

  • A Facebook post said North Carolina's border with Virginia was closed.
  • Some North Carolina local governments have restricted travel.
  • But NC and Virginia have not blocked travel across the border.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, North Carolina officials have asked residents to limit their movement.

Gov. Roy Cooper issued a "stay-at-home" order that lasts until the end of the month.

And one Facebook post that’s circulating on the social media site suggests there’s a blockade along North Carolina’s northern border.

"North Carolina & Virginia State line is closed. Nothing in or out," the post reads. As of Wednesday, it had been shared more than 800 times.

Is it true that the North Carolina-Virginia border is closed? No. 

This is a gross exaggeration of the situation that could add to the anxiety North Carolinians already face. 

No statewide order

We reached out to authorities in both states.

"The Virginia State Police has not closed any borders or roads as a result of COVID-19," Corinne Geller, public relations director for Virginia State Police, told us in an email.

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"No action has been taken by the state of North Carolina to close our border with Virginia," said Kelly Haight Connor, communications manager for the NC Department of Health and Human Services.

In fact, there has been no sweeping order to close state borders either, said Steve Abbott, spokesman for NC’s Department of Transportation. 

Local governments act

However, some local NC governments have gone a step further than Cooper’s order and enacted movement restrictions within their jurisdictions.

The bottom image of the Facebook post was used in a story from WATE about authorities blocking a highway between Robbinsville and Tellico Plains, Tennessee. That decision to block that road was made by the Graham County Emergency Planning Committee, WATE reported.

Elsewhere, Fayetteville issued a curfew. And Dare County has banned entry to visitors and non-resident property owners. 

A list of municipal movement restrictions can be found by clicking "COVID-19 related information" on DriveNC.gov.

Our ruling

A viral Facebook post says "North Carolina & Virginia State line is closed. Nothing in or out."

The NC-Virginia border isn’t closed, according to officials from both states. Nor is there a statewide ban on movement in or out of the state. 

The post broadcasted serious misinformation at a time when people are nervous about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting their work and their access to essential goods. We rate this claim Pants on Fire.

Our Sources

A Facebook post about the North Carolina-Virginia border that was shared more than 800 times.

Press release from North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s office, "Governor Cooper Announces Statewide Stay at Home Order Until April 29," issued March 27, 2020.

Email correspondence with Corinne Geller, public relations director for Virginia State Police.

Email correspondence with Kelly Haight Connor, communications manager for the NC Department of Health and Human Services.

Phone interview with Steve Abbott, spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Story by WATE, "Cherohala Skyway between Tellico Plains, Robbinsville closed as part of Graham County state of emergency declaration," published March 27, 2020.

Information on the DriveNC.gov. 

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No, North Carolina didn't shut down its borders to prevent coronavirus

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