With COVID-19 cases topping 20,000, NC modifies ‘Phase Two’ of easing restrictions

Governor Roy Cooper

Governor Roy Cooper says while COVID-19 remains a serious health threat, key indicators are stable and he will lift North Carolina’s stay-at-home order at 5:00pm on Friday.

Under a modified ‘Safer at Home’ Phase Two, the governor said certain businesses will be open at a limited capacity.

Restaurants will be allowed to operate at 50% dine-in capacity with distancing and cleaning requirements.

Salons and barbershops will also be able to open at that 50% threshold with specific distancing and cleaning requirements. Employees of personal care businesses will be required to wear face coverings.

Retail stores that were allowed to open in phase one at 50% capacity will continue at that level.

So, what will not be open in this new phase?

Bars, gyms, playground and indoor venues such as movie theaters, museums and bowling alleys will all remain closed for the time being.

Because the virus can be easily spread, mass-gathering-limits in phase two will be no more than 10 people indoors or 25 people in an outdoor setting.

“Here during this Phase Two we’ll have a number of weeks to look at the data to see where we are. Hopefully we can move into Phase Three, but do it safely. That’s going to be our guiding star,” explained Cooper.

Heading into the holiday weekend, Health and Human Service Secretary Mandy Cohen urged North Carolinians not to let their guard down.

“We need to rely upon one another to practice the three Ws as we begin leaving our homes more. When we wear a face covering, wait six feet apart, and wash our hands often, we are showing we care for our loved ones and neighbors,” said Dr. Cohen.

As of Wednesday afternoon, North Carolina had recorded 20,122 positive cases of COVID-19 and 702 deaths with 554 individuals hospitalized.

Here’s a closer look at how businesses will be impacted as North Carolina moves to the modified Phase Two:

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