North Carolina to move into Phase 3 on Friday

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RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina will move into Phase 3 at 5 p.m. on Friday with the beginning of October.

The state will remain in Phase 3 at least until Oct. 23 unless the latest executive order is rescinded.

Governor Roy Cooper made the announcement during a news conference on Wednesday.

“We are cautiously encouraged where we are in this pandemic,” Cooper said.

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

Under Phase 3:

  • Restrictions for vulnerable populations will be lessened with encouragement to continue practicing social distancing
  • Rigorous restrictions on nursing homes and congregate care settings will continue.
  • Large outdoor venues with seating greater than 10,000 may operate with 7% occupancy for spectators. 
  • Smaller outdoor entertainment venues, like arenas or amphitheaters, may operate outdoors at 30% of outdoor capacity, or 100 guests, whichever is less. 
  • Movie theaters and conference centers may open indoor spaces to 30% of capacity, or 100 guests, whichever is less.
  • Bars may operate outdoors at 30% of outdoor capacity, or 100 guests, whichever is less. 
  • Amusement parks may open at 30% occupancy, outdoor attractions only. 
  • The limits on mass gatherings will remain at 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors. 
  • The 11 p.m. curfew on alcohol sales for in-person consumption in locations such as restaurants and outdoor bars will be extended to October 23.  

Timeline of NC coronavirus restrictions

NC entered first 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

North Carolina moved into Phase 2.5 on Sept. 4, which will run until at least Oct. 2.

In North Carolina, about 956 people are currently hospitalized with the coronavirus as of 12 p.m. Wednesday, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

The state reported that 5,058 hospital beds are currently available and staffed. 15,804 are in use. 4,604 are either unreported or unstaffed.

There have been 3,029,942 coronavirus tests completed. NCDHHS reports that 6.5% of those tests have been positive.

The cumulative number of coronavirus cases in North Carolina is at least 210,632, and 3,532 people have died.

205,703 are molecular positive cases, and 4,929 are antigen positive cases.

As of Monday, Sept. 28, there have been 184,422 people in North Carolina who have recovered (note: this number is updated every Monday afternoon).

See the county-by-county breakdown for the Piedmont Triad.

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

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