North Carolina Looks Forward To a Three-Phase Re-Opening As Corona Virus Restrictions Are Relaxed
North Carolina's Governor Roy Cooper announced a three-phase, data-driven plan on Thursday, May 7th to relax the restrictions of the state's stay-at-home orders and to gradually re-open businesses statewide. The three-phase re-opening plan begins today, May 8th at 5:00 PM.
Phase 1 will allow more businesses to reopen. People can take some nonessential trips. People must adhere to social distancing guidelines and those who can work from home are highly encouraged to continue to do so. During Phase 1, child care centers are permitted re-enroll children under strict cleaning requirements. Nursing home visitor restrictions remain in place. Worship services of more than 10 people are allowed if they are outside and social distancing is followed. And keep in mind that the stay at home orders are not yet officially lifted.
North Carolina beaches are beginning to reopen. For more information about Phase I of beach reopenings, click here. State Parks can also now re-open with limitations as to the number of people who can gather in them. Trails and restrooms, as well as some boat access, will be open during Phase 1. For park-by-park details on re-openings, click here.
For now, "close-contact" businesses such as hair and nail salons, gyms, and movie theaters will remain closed. Restaurants will continue to be limited to drive-thru, takeout or delivery service until Phase 2, which hopefully will occur on or about May 22nd. And it's worth noting that a number of businesses now allowed to open are choosing to limit their operations below the 50% capacity that is permitted.
Schools will not reopen this year in North Carolina and, in general, traditions graduation ceremonies will not take place. In other news, furloughed workers in North Carolina are now eligible for jobless benefits. NASCAR, which is a big part of North Carolina lifestyle will begin racing on May 17th with seven races planned. No doubt, NASCAR fans are thrilled.
Phase 2 of reopening won't take place till at least two or three weeks after Phase 1 goes into effect. But the hope is that Phase 2 can begin by May 22nd. Phase 3 won't go into effect for at least four to six weeks after Phase 2 goes into effect. Meantime, the Governor has reserved the right to roll back reopening plans in the event of an increase in corona virus cases.
Charts courtesy of WRAL News
If you want to stay updated on corona virus cases and deaths by county in North Carolina, click here. Mecklenburg (home to Charlotte), Wake and Durham County account for 27% of corona virus cases in North Carolina. These are also the most populous counties. Avery County thus far is the only county with no confirmed cases.