North Carolina may return to stay-at-home orders, according to N.C. Health Secretary

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North Carolina Secretary of The Department of Health and Human Services told a local radio station that the state could possibly go back to staying at home.

If we need to go back to stay-at-home [orders] we will, Mandy Cohen, the secretary of North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services told NPR’S Morning Edition on Thursday. 

Cohen continued to say that they are concerned about the surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations during its second phase of reopening, forcing the state’s health director to contend with the idea of second shutdown.

I hope we don’t have to. I think there are things we can do before we have to get there, but yes, we are concerned, she said.

The second phase of reopening began on May 22, and it allowed certain businesses to open back up or expand operations in a limited capacity. Officials say one day after the start of phase two, the state reported its largest single-day spike since the start of the pandemic.

Officials say nearly three weeks later, North Carolina is again seeing an increase of COVID-19 cases, and currently has more people hospitalized for the disease than at any point since the start of the outbreak.

We never got a first surge or a first wave, and that was really good. We were able to use that time to build our capacity to respond, she said. But in the last two weeks, the state’s numbers have been “going in the wrong direction.”

Cohen said the state’s hospitalizations are going up and more people are having a serious illness. 

Our rules still are that we do not want to have any mass gatherings, Cohen said. Obviously, the protests and going back to church have particular legal status, but the virus doesn’t know that. So we think those are risks, and we want to make sure folks are getting tested and are taking care of themselves. 

North Carolina as of 7:45 a.m. have 39, 481 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Are you ready for a second shutdown?

 

 

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