CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A White House document obtained by the Center for Public Integrity identified north and South Carolina as two of 18 states in the coronavirus “red zone.”
The report, issued to the coronavirus task force, recommends implementing stricter restrictions and scaling back reopening plans.
The “red zone” is defined in the report by having more than 100 cases per 100 thousand people.
“I think this is a very important report," said Mecklenburg commissioner Susan Harden. She said she’s pushing county leaders to not let up too soon.
"We need to get this virus under control," she said. "And now we have some action items that we can consider.”
The report's recommendations include reducing indoor restaurant capacity to 25%, again limiting gatherings to 10 people or less, and enforcing mask mandates.
It also recommends South Carolina implement a mask mandate, and immediately close bars and gyms – which were allowed to reopen statewide in May.
Rock Hill and Fort Mill implemented city-wide mask mandates last week.
York County council is set to consider a county-wide mandate on Monday.
“30 to 40% of that people just move across that barrier every day that that border between North Carolina," Harden said. "The spikes that you're seeing in South Carolina…we know that that is impacting what we're experiencing here in Mecklenburg County."
Despite the report’s recommendations, many are hesitant to go backward, with many local businesses barely treading water.
“I mean, it's all difficult," Harden said. "We're in the middle of a pandemic. It's just terrible. There's nothing, there's nothing easy about this.”
The report also singled out North Carolina for its disproportionate number of cases in its Hispanic community, which makes up 9.6 percent of North Carolina's population, but 44% of the state’s cases.
DHHS has recently issued grants to Latinx groups programs to address the issue.
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