NC Governor Cooper Signs Executive Order To Ease ‘Stay At Home’ Restrictions

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North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has just signed a new Executive Order that will officially transition our state into ‘Phase 1’ of the reopening this coming Friday (5/8) evening starting at 5pm.

Executive Order 138 modifies our state’s ‘Stay At Home Order’, easing many state-wide restrictions, including; retail store capacity, outside gatherings, parks, childcare, and more.

“COVID-19 is still a serious threat to our state, and Phase 1 is designed to be a limited easing of restrictions that can boost parts of our economy while keeping important safety rules in place,” said Cooper. “This is a careful and deliberate first step, guided by the data, and North Carolinians still must use caution while this virus is circulating.”

The order is in effect until 5 pm on Friday, May 22. However, the end of this Order does not necessarily mean the state will move to Phase 2. Phase 2 will only start if data and indicators are in the right place.

Phase 2 includes the following changes:

  • Lift Stay At Home order with strong encouragement for vulnerable populations to continue staying at home to stay safe
  • Allow limited opening of restaurants, bars, fitness centers, personal care services, and other businesses that can follow safety protocols including the potential need to reduce capacity
  • Allow gathering at places such as houses of worship and entertainment venues at reduced capacity
  • Increase in number of people allowed at gatherings
  • Open public playgrounds
  • Continue rigorous restrictions on nursing homes and other congregant care settings

After 4-6 weeks of phase 2, if everything still looks under control, the state will move to Phase 3, which includes the following changes:

  • Lessen restrictions for vulnerable populations with encouragement to continue practicing physical distancing and minimizing exposure to settings where distancing isn’t possible
  • Allow increased capacity at restaurants, bars, other businesses, houses of worships, and entertainment venues
  • Further increase the number of people allowed at gatherings
  • Continue rigorous restrictions on nursing homes and other congregant care settings

Governor Cooper underscored the need for the testing, tracing and trends to move in the right direction for each of these phases to move forward. If there is a spike in infections, tightening of restrictions may be needed temporarily.

What do you think about the plans?

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