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Novant Health supports extending stay at home order

Mecklenburg County leaders want a 2-week extension to the statewide stay-at-home order, which would automatically extend the county's more strict order.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Novant Health spokesperson told WCNC Charlotte that the health system supports extending North Carolina's stay at home order "to ensure our models do not go back to where they were." 

Mecklenburg County leaders want a 2-week extension to the statewide stay-at-home order, which would automatically extend the county's more strict order. 

At a virtual county board meeting on Wednesday night, County Manager Dena Diorio said she would advise the board write a letter to Governor Roy Cooper, asking for the extension in order to better plan a slow re-open of the local economy. 

However, hours later in the same meeting, Diorio withdrew that request, citing reports that were coming in that said Governor Cooper would unveil his plan on Thursday for reopening North Carolina.

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Meanwhile, Gov. Roy Cooper is expected to lay out a three-part plan Thursday at 3 p.m. would allow data to determine when to lift the restrictions of his stay-at-home order, in place since March 30.

A source familiar with the governor's plans shared them Wednesday with WRAL, the NBC affiliate in Raleigh.

Cooper and his coronavirus advisors are planning for a phased return similar to what Pres. Donald J. Trump laid out last week.

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Novant Health issued the following statement: 

"When the coronavirus first hit our communities, the models showed concerning surges in patients and strains on our hospitals. Without stay-at home policies, we were looking to run out of beds, staffing and critical resources like PPE and equipment, costing more lives.

Novant Health, along with many others, called for stay-at-home policies in order to give our healthcare systems critical time and space necessary to increase our capacity and conserve our PPE while the community helped flatten the curve.

With time, investments, and tireless efforts, the modeling is at a place today where we feel the stabilization in new hospitalized COVID-19 patients allow us to resume some care that had previously been delayed. Understand, our models today are based on sustained physical distancing and people staying-at-home as much as they can.

We absolutely would like to see our neighbors get back to work, our kids get back to school, and our economies moving again. We simply cannot risk doing it with the flip of a switch and support a phased, responsible approach to ending current stay-at-home policies to ensure our models do not go back to where they were. All follow-up policies must include clear guidelines for businesses and the public to mitigate the risk of spread as much as possible. We will work with our local and state partners to ensure our clinical viewpoint is included in those measures."

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