Gov. Cooper Unveils Three Phase Plan to Reopen the Economy and Ease Restrictions

CHARLOTTE, NC – The North Carolina stay-at-home order continues until at least May 8th. Governor Roy Cooper made the announcement during a news conference on Thursday. 

“I will not risk the health of our people or our hospitals. And easing these restrictions now, would do that,” said Cooper. 

“It’s clear that we are flattening the curve. But our state is not ready to lift restrictions yet,” continued Cooper. 

Cooper says his office is looking at science and data to determine the next course of action. 

“Today is one of the second-highest days of reported new cases that we have seen,” said Dr. Mandy Cohen, the state Health Director.

Cohen says they’re not seeing a decline in reported COVID-19 cases. Hospitalizations have also remained flat. But the percent of positive tests is declining.

“It’s a good early sign,” said Cohen. 

Cohen says they’re working to increase testing to an average of 6,000 a day. They’re hiring twice as many contact tracers. Cohen says they also need to stock up on a 30 day supply of protective masks and gowns, which they currently don’t have. 

“We have flattened the curve, but we’re not quite there yet,” said Cohen.

Cooper laid out a three-phase plan to reopen North Carolina for business.  

Phase one

-Stay at home remains in place

– Other retailers open with social distancing. 

       (sporting goods, clothing etc)

– Gatherings limited to 10 people

– Parks reopened

– Face Coverings in Public

– Nursing home restrictions. 

           Duration: 2-3 weeks

Phase Two

  • Stay at Home order lifted
  • Bars and restaurants open w/ strict capacity limits
  • Gathering Limit increases
  • Churches and entertainment venues open w/ reduced capacity
  • Playgrounds open

Duration: 4-6 weeks

Phase Three 

  • Vulnerable population restrictions loosened
  • Increase capacity at bars and restaurants 
  • Increase capacity at churches and entertainment venues
  • Increase gathering capacity

“If we keep protecting ourselves and go back to work and play carefully, we can rebuild the damage this virus has done to our state,” said Cooper.