COVID-19, News

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:


  1. Lucy Christopher

    May 21, 2020 at 8:56 am

    Thank you, Gov.Cooper. Please continue to go very slowly. And do not hesitate to go back to phase 1 if needed.

  2. Judy Coggins

    May 21, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    We are lucky that we have a governor who will not bow to outside pressure in making decisions about COVID-19 and its effects on the people of North Carolina. I am proud to have you as the leader of this state. Thank you.

  3. Angela Jeannet

    May 22, 2020 at 8:45 am

    Gov. Cooper is showing real leadership and thoughtfulness. We will defeat COVID 19 if we act as if we care for each other.

  4. Raymond Suarez Jr

    May 22, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    Governor Cooper is a clown who wants to prolong our misery, no two ways about it. Our Constitution trumps his executive order. He is not a king he works for the people of NC.

  5. Clint Holt

    May 22, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    We appreciate your mature and measured response that considers of primary importance the health and safety of our citizens. We are grateful for your responsible leadership.

  6. LaDonna Barnhill

    May 22, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    Now that thousands have been put out of business and mental health and non-COVID health concerns have skyrocketed, go ahead. Take all the time you need to further your Democratic agenda.

  7. Nancy Barclay

    May 22, 2020 at 3:32 pm

    I echo the earlier comments that show your courageous leadership abilities and your intellectual capabilities in understanding what is needed to save the lives our friends and neighbors. Testing is now most importan.

  8. Nancy W Rowsey

    May 22, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    Thank God we have a Governor who does what is best for his people, if we open too quick a lot of deaths an sickness will follow.

  9. Linda Pottle

    May 22, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    Now that we know that the Recovery Rate is 96 % plus (35 % that had no symptoms were not included) is a good thing. Something that MSM is not saying. The Good News is there is a 96% plus chance you will recovery and most it will be like the Flu. Another good thing is as we see the Number infected go up, that means that many people do Not Need Vaccinated, they are already immune. SO before they start the Vaccinate the World Program they need to test to see even if you need it. Now thats good news, all those infect are vaccinated.

  10. Louis B Giordano

    May 22, 2020 at 4:45 pm

    I appreciate gov. Cooper’s management of this most serious and deadly problem. He has my vote in Nov. And my Financial support.

  11. Rose jordan

    May 22, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    Governor Cooper. I implore you to allow visits at assisted living and nursing homes. Many of our elderly in these congregate facilities have depression or dementia. Visits can easily be done outside, with a mask and sitting 10 feet apart. Our rural area has only 6 cases out of a population of 14,000. The mental status of these patients cannot be ignored. They also need haircuts! Hair stylists are usually in house. Please look into this matter and adjust your guidelines.

  12. Staci P.

    May 22, 2020 at 7:35 pm

    The Governor is doing great but the real situation is the public and the people who could care less about others. This is why I think there will be a second round. If they didn’t care during the lockdown the sure as heck won’t care as soon as the lockdown is lifted.

  13. Joe Billings

    May 22, 2020 at 11:32 pm

    Linda Pottle, your comment has statements that just aren’t true. Many of those that “recover” will never have the same lung capacity again. And there is no substantial and reliable evidence to prove that one is immune after that recovery. As for a vaccine, they’re still working one for SARS, 18 years later!


    May 22, 2020 at 11:36 pm

    I cannot be prouder of living in NC under the leadership of Governor Cooper. Keep the nice work!

  15. Judy

    May 23, 2020 at 8:34 am

    Thank you for standing strong for what you know is right and follow the science and facts. Your actions will not only save Tarheel lives, but our economy as well. I am confident that when people feel secure about resuming economic activity, they will with great enthusiasm. But they want to feel safe first. Thank you again.

  16. Eileen Moore

    May 23, 2020 at 9:24 am

    Everything should be allowed to open. These “phased” openings are just about control, not keeping people safe.

  17. Dana Crosson

    May 24, 2020 at 11:52 am

    I’m proud to be a North Carolinian with Governor Cooper as our leader. He has done an outstanding job trying to balance the needs of our health and safety and economy. I appreciate his hard work and dedication to our State and well as his professionalism and compassion as a leader. Thank you, Gov. Cooper, you have my vote in November, too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Cooper vetoes legislation to re-open bars

Governor Roy Cooper vetoed legislation Friday that would ...

State and Federal COVID-19 policy updates

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Classes start in just over two months, and Eric Muller, a professor in UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of L [...]

Powerful Black leaders across North Carolina in charge of administering justice are speaking out to [...]

A confidential letter delivered to the State Board of Education alleges that the school management f [...]

Historic congressional hearing examines the pandemic's disparate racial and ethnic impacts WASH [...]

In late 2016, the North Carolina Poverty Research Fund issued a significant report on state access t [...]

As President Trump, Attorney General Barr and other conservatives fulminate against voting-by-mail, [...]

It needs to be acknowledged at the very outset of this column that there is, of course, no way that [...]

It has been eight days since Minneapolis resident George Floyd, a Black man, was killed by Derek Cha [...]