Protesters Rally to Reopen NC; Poll Shows Support For Stay-At-Home Order

CHARLOTTE, NC – The push to reopen the North Carolina economy taking center stage in Uptown Charlotte on Friday. Dozens of people crowded to protest, but new data shows the majority of North Carolinians support the current plan. 

“We need to fight for our freedoms,” said one protester. 

“We’re angry and we’re not going to surrender,” said another. 

Some people were protesting what they believe to be a violation of their rights, wanting to get back to work, others supporting local businesses that were forced to close. 

“The bartenders aren’t making any money, the owners aren’t making any money. They still have rent to pay. I’m really here to support them,” said Chuck Howard. 

Howard says he’s worried about the long term impact on people and their businesses. 

“People are struggling and unfortunately, some of them may never be able to open again if this continues,” said Howard. 

Despite the claims from protesters and people supporting reopen efforts, a Meredith College poll released Thursday shows more than 76% of people polled support Governor Cooper’s extension of the stay-at-home order until May 8.

“We are putting ourselves in the best position possible for when we can ease our restrictions,” said Dr. Mandy Cohen. 

Cohen is the North Carolina Health Director. She says the state is moving in the right direction in several key metrics.

“More than 5,300 tests were done yesterday and the percent that were positive decreased to 7%,” said Cohen, “that’s a great thing.”

Phase one includes.. 

  • Stay at home order remains, but non essential travel can take place
  • Other retailers can open with strict distancing guidelines
  • Gatherings limited to 10 people
  • Parks reopened
  • Face coverings in public
  • Nursing home restrictions.

Duration: 2-3 weeks

“I remain optimistic that the trends will be stable enough to move us into phase one next week,” said Cohen.