Cooper ‘hopeful’ NC can start Phase Two of reopening this week, plans midweek decision

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By News Talk 1110 & 99.3 WBT

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said Monday, a decision on Phase 2 of the state’s 3-step plan could come mid-week.

The state is currently in the first step of the three-phased approach to lift restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

The state moved into Phase 1 on May 8, which allowed more businesses to open and opened child care centers for working parents or those looking for work among other moves. The Phase 1 executive order is in effect until 5 p.m. on Friday.

Cooper reiterated Monday that the data will determine if the state is ready for Phase 2.

State officials previously said, to continue lifting restrictions, health officials want to see sustained leveling or decreased trajectory in COVID-like illness surveillance over 14 days, sustained leveling or decreased trajectory of lab-confirmed cases over 14 days, sustained leveling or decreased trajectory in percent of tests returning positive over 14 days and sustained leveling or decreased trajectory in hospitalizations over 14 days.

Once the state moves to Phase 2, the stay-at-home order will be lifted with encouragement for vulnerable populations to continue staying at home. Limited openings of restaurants, bars, personal care services and other businesses will be allowed with safety protocols and the potential need to reduce capacity.

It will also increase the number of people allowed at gatherings, and allow gatherings at places such as entertainment venues and houses of worship at reduced capacity as well as re-open public playgrounds among other moves.