Gov. Cooper gives update on N.C.’s COVID-19 response as Phase One scheduled to expire Friday

Posted at 5:27 AM, May 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-20 21:31:41-04

During Wednesday's press briefing, Governor Roy Cooper announced the start of Phase Two on Friday.

Starting Friday at 5 p.m., North Carolina will enter Phase Two with more modest steps than originally conditioned.

Cooper announces he is lifting the stay-at-home order, but provides a safer-at-home guidance.

Bars, night clubs, gyms, entertainment venues, and public playgrounds will remain closed.

No more than 10 or more people gatherings indoors and no more than 25 people outdoors is a guideline in Phase Two.

Based on rising case counts, health officials say the state needs to caution into Phase Two with modifications.

Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Mandy Cohen is asking residents to “hang in there” by continuing to comply with the state business restrictions mean to blunt the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We ask folks to hang in there with us as we look at our numbers,” Cohen said. “We want folks to be making good decisions to protect not just themselves but their community.”

Gov. Roy Cooper’s current stay-at-home order expires Friday. Cooper said this week he's hopeful further easing of business restrictions could begin.

It seems that restaurants may be able to seat people again in time for Memorial Day weekend. The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association posted an interim guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services last Friday that would allow restaurants to bring in customers to 50% capacity, with tables at least six feet apart and workers are still recommended to wear face coverings.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released their daily update involving coronavirus cases within the state, which showed 20,122 cases, 554 people hospitalized and 702 coronavirus related deaths.

That is 677 new cases and 20 additional deaths from Tuesday.

A total of 277,603 people in North Carolina have now been tested.

Click here for full coronavirus coverage.