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What can reopen in North Carolina under Phase 2

A spokesperson for the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association says they expect Governor Cooper to begin Phase 2 Friday.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As North Carolina continues to gradually reopen its economy, the state could be ready to enter Phase 2 of Governor Roy Cooper's reopening plan Friday at 5 p.m. 

According to the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA), the Department of Health and Human Services has issued guidance as part of the Phase 2 reopening procedure. A spokesperson for the NCRLA confirmed to WCNC Charlotte they anticipate Cooper to make the announcement Wednesday that Phase 2 will begin on Friday, May 22.  

Mecklenburg County Health Director Gibbie Harris believes the county is ready, saying COVID-19 testing trends have remained stable. Harris also cautioned residents to continue social distancing, saying there's currently no data to support that Mecklenburg County has seen the peak for coronavirus and cases will continue to rise as more testing is done. 

Last week, Dr. Mandy Cohen with the Department of Health and Human Services provided guidance on who all should be tested for coronavirus. The list includes people who are considered high-risk, have underlying health conditions, those who have regular contact with people in high-risk settings like nursing homes and hospitals, as well as essential workers whose jobs make social distancing difficult. 

The current Phase 1 order is scheduled to expire Friday, when it could be continued or discontinued in favor of Phase 2.

North Carolina Phase 2 of reopening: What it means

Credit: WCNC
  • Lift Stay At Home order with strong encouragement for vulnerable populations to continue staying at home to stay safe
  • Allow limited opening of restaurants, bars, fitness centers, personal care services, and other businesses that can follow safety protocols including the potential need to reduce capacity
  • Allow gathering at places such as houses of worship and entertainment venues at reduced capacity
  • Increase in number of people allowed at gatherings
  • Open public playgrounds
  • Continue rigorous restrictions on nursing homes and other congregant care settings 

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