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Outdoor venues could reopen for fall sports and events by the end of the week

Phase 2.5, which brought the openings of playgrounds, museums, and gyms expires on Friday, October 4.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Over the summer, the pandemic forced people to find ways to entertain themselves. By the end of this week, though, we could see large outdoor venues open for fans.

Governor Roy Cooper announced on Tuesday that he was considering reopening outdoor venues by October 4.

“We do believe outdoor events are safer than indoor events, that’s why we’re concentrating in that lane," Cooper said. 

Phase 2.5, which brought the openings of playgrounds, museums, and gyms expires on Friday, October 4. Cooper said if the coronavirus numbers are trending in the right direction, outdoor venues could open at a 7% capacity.

"The 7% capacity leaves plenty of room for social distancing,” Cooper said.

North Carolina Health Secretary Mandy Cohen said the limiting of mass gathering thus far has seemed to work in curbing the coronavirus.

"We are seeing our level of virus spread be lower, we still have a lot of work to do," Cohen said.

Governor Cooper said there are measures he’d like to see if and when these venues are opened.

"It's really important for these arenas to have separate entrances, to not have places where people can congregate, to make sure that only families or people who live in the same household sit together," Cooper said.

This move would mean a limited amount of fans could go to the Panthers home game on October 4 and to the Roval 400 the following weekend.

"If we keep up our commitment, we can drive our numbers down even more and put our state in a position to come out of this pandemic even stronger,” Cooper said.