NC Gov. Cooper Says Large Outdoor Venues Can Possibly Open At 7% Capacity Starting Next Week

Steady numbers allow for large outdoor venues to open at 7% with safety precautions

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper Holds Coronavirus News Conference (9/22/20)

WATCH LIVE: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper provides updates on #COVID-19 after the state reports over 1,100 new positive cases within the last 24 hours. #WCCB #ncnews #cltnews #news #coronavirus #health #northcarolina

Posted by WCCB, Charlotte's CW on Tuesday, September 22, 2020

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday that the state is likely to take the next step towards Phase 3 of reopening by allowing large venues to open at a reduced capacity.

Starting on Friday, Oct. 2 large outdoor event venues could open at 7% capacity with safety measures. The announcement was made today so that qualifying locations could begin putting safety measures in place in order to operate.

These locations includes the Bank of America Stadium, which has a capacity of more than 75,000, that could open at reduced capacity.

Large entertainment venues are considered as those that can seat over 10,000.

This next step in reopening is due to North Carolina continuing to see stable numbers within their key COVID-19 metrics.

“We will continue analyzing our data and indicators as we determine how to move forward safely in other areas that may be included in the new order on October 2nd. In it, we hope to ease some other restrictions, while still keeping safety protocols like masks, social distancing, and mass gathering limits in place,” said Gov. Cooper.

State and public health officials will continue watching the key COVID-19 trends over the next week to determine if any further restrictions can be eased when the current Executive Order expires October 2 at 5 p.m.

Governor Cooper Announces Additional $40 Million COVID Relief for Small Businesses

In addition to the next steps towards Phase 3 of reopening Gov. Cooper also announced an additional $40 million COVID relief program for small businesses.

This relief program is expected to help offset fixed costs like rent, mortgage interests and utility bills with applicants being able to apply for up to four months of relief.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy – powering our local communities and giving back in so many ways. They deserve our support, and this new initiative can help them weather this tough time,” said Governor Cooper.

The N.C. Mortgage, Utility and Rent Relief (MURR), administered by the North Carolina Department of Commerce, can provide up to $20,000 in relief funds per qualifying business location.

Applicants must certify that they were closed during the period April 1 through July 31, 2020; they expect to be able to operate after the COVID crisis has passed; and they have not been reimbursed by any other federal source for the expenses for which they seek reimbursement through this program.

Eligible applicants include:

  • Amusement parks
  • Banquet Halls (with catering staff)
  • Bars, taverns, night clubs, cocktail lounges
  • Bingo parlors
  • Bowling alleys/centers
  • Dance halls
  • Indoor fitness and recreation centers
  • Motion picture/movie theaters (except drive-ins)
  • Museums

The Department of Commerce is expected to begin accepting applications soon.