North Carolina Continues Reopening

In Buzz, September 2020, Uncategorized, Web Exclusive by Jane Porter2 Comments

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WEB EXCLUSIVE As COVID-19 metrics in North Carolina begin to stabilize, Governor Roy Cooper announced that the state will move into a “Safer at Home” phase 2.5 reopening, starting at 5 p.m. this Friday.

Some businesses that were ordered closed for the past several months, such as gyms, museums and aquariums, will be allowed to open at reduced capacity; others, including bars, nightclubs, movie theaters and indoor entertainment venues, must remain closed. The cap on indoor gatherings will be allowed to increase to 25 and outdoor gatherings will be capped at 50. Capacity limits at restaurants and personal care service providers, such as hair and nail salons, will continue to be in effect.

“We have continued to see statewide numbers stabilize,” Cooper said in a press conference this afternoon. “We are encouraged but cautious. Stability isn’t victory; the forest isn’t as thick, but we’re not yet out of the woods.”

Businesses allowed to open

  • Gyms, dance/yoga/gymnastics studios, skating rinks, bowling alleys and all other athletics facilities, at 30 percent capacity
  • Museums and aquariums, at 50 percent capacity
  • Outdoor playgrounds, with social distancing; children ages 5 years and older will be required to wear masks.

Businesses that must remain closed

  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Movie theaters
  • Indoor entertainment venues

NC DHHS Secretary Many Cohen noted that, while four key metrics including the number of lab confirmed COVID cases, the percent positive test rate, people arriving at emergency departments with COVID-like symptoms and the number of hospitalizations are stabilizing, the number of daily cases reported per day is still too high. The state is aiming for a less- than-5 percent positive test rate, and today, it’s still around 7 percent.

“June and July saw the highest levels of transmission and new cases, and then hospitalizations, but thanks to hardworking North Carolinians wearing face coverings, we saw trends stabilize and move down,” Cohen said. “In mid-August there were outbreaks at colleges and universities but the overall metrics show signs of stability. Your hard work is having an impact but we must keep working together to continue the progress.”

Cohen encouraged North Carolinians to continue to practice the three Ws: wear a face covering, wash your hands and wait six feet apart from others. She also encouraged the public to get flu shots with the approaching flu season.

“The unfortunate truth is the pandemic is not yet over,” said Cooper. “We are all forced to live alongside the virus but we all can take actions to protect our community, reignite economy and get back to the things we love.”

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