Gov. Cooper: N.C. will remain ‘paused’ in phase two for five more weeks

CDC image coronavirus COVID-19

North Carolina has seen some stabilizing of coronavirus numbers in the past few weeks, but Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday announced the state will remain in phase two reopening for the next five weeks.

Nightclubs, bar, gyms and other fitness facilities will remain closed, and an 11 p.m. curfew on alcohol sales will remain in place, as will a mandate requiring face masks in public places where social distancing can’t be maintained.

Restaurants and retail stores will remain at half-capacity for the time being.

“Our success at returning thousands of students, teachers, and staff safely to classrooms this month depends on us doing what works,” Cooper said, noting the state has passed 2,000 COVID-19 deaths. “Most North Carolinians are doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 – wearing a mask, waiting six feet apart and washing hands often. These simple strategies are more important than ever. It’s time to double down on them. The more people who do this, the better our health and economy will be.”

Cooper also visited Bertie County on Wednesday, where Tropical Storm Isaias spawned a tornado that killed two people and left a trail of devastation.

“I thanked the rescue teams who assisted people who were trapped & got people to medical care. Their heroic efforts make us proud,” he said. “A hurricane on top of a pandemic is cruel. But our emergency managers and first responders were prepared to handle both crises at once. And our people are showing their resilience.”

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