North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and health experts are laying groundwork to convince the public that social distancing orders could be needed beyond April to dull COVID-19′s spread and preserve hospital beds and lives.
Cooper’s current statewide stay-at-home order and ban on dine-in service at restaurants and bars currently expire in a few weeks.
A team of epidemiologists and other health policy experts released a report Monday that says maintaining social distancing rules gives hospitals a better chance to respond to a patient surge.
Maintaining social distancing policies “will likely allow our health care system to be able to manage the disease as it spreads throughout the state,” Mark Holmes, director of the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, told reporters at the News Observer. “Relaxing all social distancing policies on April 29 could place substantial pressure on hospitals that could be outside of their ability to manage."
North Carolina is now reporting more than 2,850 positive COVID-19 cases and 33 deaths.