Governor Roy Cooper on Tuesday, September 1, 2020, announced that after a summer of hard work to slow the spread of COVID-19, North Carolina will take a modest step forward move into Phase 2.5 starting this Friday, Sept. 4, at 5:00 p.m. Mask mandates and other prevention methods remain in effect and are even more important to contain the virus, Cooper said.
“Safer at Home Phase 2.5 continues our state’s dimmer switch approach to easing some restrictions,” said Governor Cooper. “We can do this safely only if we keep doing what we know works — wearing masks and social distancing. In fact, a new phase is exactly when we need to take this virus even more seriously.”
Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services shared an update on North Carolina’s data trends. Dr. Cohen explained that North Carolina has seen stability in key metrics.
Phase 2.5 means the following for North Carolina:
• Mass gathering limits will increase to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors from the current limit of 10 indoors and 25 outdoors.
• Playgrounds may open.
• Museums and aquariums may open at 50% capacity.
• Gyms and indoor exercise facilities, such as yoga studios, martial arts, and rock climbing, as well as skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor basketball, volleyball etc., may open at 30% capacity.
• Bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, indoor entertainment facilities, amusement parks, dance halls will remain closed.
• Large venues remain subject to the mass gathering limits.
Outdoor visits to be allowed at nursing homes
In addition, NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen issued a Secretarial Order allowing for outdoor visitation at nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities. To participate, nursing homes must meet several requirements, including, but not limited, not having a current outbreak, having a testing plan and updated written Infection Control or Preparedness plan for COVID-19, and having adequate personal protective equipment. The Secretarial Order is effective as of September 4 at 5 PM and remains in effect through September 22, 2020.
Cooper Extends 11 pm Alcohol Curfew Through Oct. 2
In an effort to continue slowing the spread of COVID-19, Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 162 to extend the limited hours on the sale of alcoholic drinks in North Carolina. As the state continues to fight the spread of COVID-19, the Order requires restaurants to end the sale of alcoholic beverages at 11 pm. This Order will remain in effect through October 2, 2020.
“North Carolina has made good progress stabilizing our COVID-19 numbers, and this order will help us continue it,” said Governor Cooper. “Now is the time to continue staying cautious and vigilant as we work to beat this pandemic.”
Local governments that have implemented orders that end alcohol sales before 11 pm or that apply to other entities remain in effect.