North Carolina will move into Phase 2 of its reopening process Friday evening. However, the current trends with the COVID-19 crisis have led the state to modify the Phase 2 plans for a more gradual reopening in this next stage.
Gov. Roy Cooper announced Wednesday that the Phase 2, “Safer-at-Home” recommendation will go into effect at 5 PM on Friday, May 22. Under the “Safer-at-Home” recommendation, the current “Stay-at-Home” order will expire. Gov. Cooper says teleworking is still strongly suggested, and high-risk populations are urged to stay home as much as possible. Also, Cooper says residents are encouraged to continue practicing the three W’s: Wear a face covering, Wash your hands frequently, and Wait at least six feet apart from another person.
Under the modified Phase 2 plan, some businesses will be able to reopen at 50% capacity, including restaurants, salons and barbers, and swimming pools. Some businesses will remain closed, including bars, gyms, theaters, and public playgrounds.
As of Wednesday, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reports 20,015 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state. 699 of those cases have resulted in death.
Wednesday’s figures from Wayne County Government show 871 total positive cases of COVID-19 in the county. Only 334 of those cases come from outside of a congregate living facility (Neuse Correctional Institution, nursing home, etc.). 627 of the county’s cases are estimated to have already recovered. There have been 16 coronavirus-related deaths in Wayne County. Beside the outbreak at the Neuse Correctional Institution, the state is following ongoing outbreaks at three congregate care facilities in Wayne County:
- Mount Olive Center: 47 cases (3 staff, 44 residents), 8 deaths
- O’Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center: 22 cases (11 staff, 11 residents), 0 deaths
- Brookdale Berkeley Boulevard: 6 cases (1 staff, 5 residents), 0 deaths