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North Carolina enters Phase 3: Here's what that means.

Phase 3 is expected to last at least 3 weeks. Gov. Cooper said the face mask mandate for the state is still in effect during Phase 3.

WCNC Staff

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Gov. Roy Cooper announced Wednesday that the state of North Carolina will enter Phase 3 of reopening on Friday at 5 p.m.

"Today, we're cautiously encouraged about where we are in this pandemic. The key indicators we watch in North Carolina remain mostly stable," Cooper said. "But I have to tell you that we see warning signs that the disease could spike again, here and across the country." 

Phase 3 is expected to last at least 3 weeks. Gov. Cooper said this duration was made shorter intentionally since COVID-19 cases are already rising again across the country, we are entering flu season, and health officials need the ability to react if cases spike here.