Gov. Cooper says NC will take another step toward Phase 3 in October if cases remain stable


RALEIGH, N.C. — Governor Roy Cooper said during a news conference on Tuesday that North Carolina will take another step toward Phase 3 in October if coronavirus cases remain stable.

Cooper said that outdoor venues with a seating capacity over 10,000 can open at 7% capacity starting on Oct. 2.

North Carolina is currently in Phase 2.5 of reopening until at least Oct. 2.

Under Phase 3:

  • Restrictions for vulnerable populations will be lessened with encouragement to continue practicing social distancing
  • Increased capacity at restaurants, bars, other businesses, houses of worship and entertainment venues will be allowed.
  • The number of people allowed at gatherings will be increased.
  • Rigorous restrictions on nursing homes and congregate care settings will continue.

NC entered Phase 1 on Friday, May 8.

In phase 1:

  • Most businesses could reopen
  • Retail businesses reopened at 50% capacity with frequent cleaning and social distancing
  • Parks and trails were encouraged to reopen
  • Certain businesses (gyms, salons, bars, theaters, etc.) remain closed
  • Restaurants continued to be take out and delivery only
  • Gatherings were still limited to 10 people, but gatherings with friends outdoors were allowed
  • Employers were still encouraged to telework when possible
  • Childcare centers that followed strict cleaning requirements opened for working parents or those looking for work
  • Worship services of more than 10 people were allowed outdoors if socially distanced

North Carolina entered Phase 2 of reopening on Friday, May 22.

The state-wide stay-at-home order went into effect on March 30. It was initially to be in effect for 30 days, but was extended until May 8, at which point the state entered Phase 1.

During a news conference on Aug. 5, Cooper said North Carolina will stay in Phase 2 for five weeks.

Under Phase 2:

  • Gatherings are limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors
  • Retail stores that are cleaning and social distancing are open at 50% capacity
  • Salons are open at 50% capacity
  • Working from home is encouraged
  • Bars and nightclubs are closed
  • Gyms are closed
  • Movie theaters are closed
  • Bowling alleys are closed
  • Indoor music venues and skating rinks are closed
  • Museums are closed
  • Arenas and stadiums are closed
  • Pools are open with restrictions
  • Long-term care visitation is not allowed

In North Carolina, about 905 people are currently hospitalized with the coronavirus as of 12:05 p.m. Tuesday, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

The state reported that 5,855 hospital beds are currently available and staffed. 14,693 are in use. 4,918 are either unreported or unstaffed.

There have been 2,824,929 coronavirus tests completed. NCDHHS reports that 5.4% of those tests have been positive.

The cumulative number of coronavirus cases in North Carolina is at least 195,549, and 3,286 people have died.

As of Monday, Sept. 21, there have been 176,422 people in North Carolina who have recovered (note: this number is updated every Monday afternoon).

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North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline: 1-866-462-3821


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