In a press conference Monday, Governor Roy Cooper said that North Carolina appears to be on the right track to enter phase one of reopening this weekend.
The first phase of the three-part plan will keep the stay-at-home order in place but will lift some restrictions.
We are continuing to see progress on testing, tracing, and trends. We’re hoping we can enter phase one this weekend, Cooper said.
Although officials say North Carolina is succeeding in flattening the curve of the virus, many worry that lifting the stay-at-home order too soon could result in a spike of cases.
Our death toll is rising slower than in many places but we mourn all the same for those who have passed, Cooper said.
Phase one of Cooper’s three-part reopening plan could begin as early as May 8. In that phase, the stay-at-home order remains in effect as do most of the mandated business closures, but parks will be allowed to reopen.
The first phase will last at least two weeks. Phase two will end the stay-at-home order, allow bars and restaurants to open on a limited basis. After another four to six weeks, Phase three will remove caps on gatherings and reopen all businesses.
Phase 1 (possibly starting after May 8)
- Stay-at-home order remains in place, but people are allowed to leave to shop.
- Retailers will need to implement social distancing and cleaning protocols.
- Gatherings limited to no more than 10 people.
- Parks reopen with gathering limits.
- Masks and face coverings recommended in public.
- Teleworking encouraged.
- Restrictions on nursing homes and long-term care facilities remain in place.