North Carolina will take a partial step forward in its reopening plan. Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Roy Cooper announced the state would “take a careful step forward” and move into “Safer at Home” Phase 2.5 on Friday, September 4, at 5 PM.
Under Phase 2.5, the gathering size limits will increase to 25 people in indoor settings and 50 people in outdoor settings. Playgrounds will be able to open. Gyms will open at 30% capacity and museums or aquariums can open at 50% capacity. Bars and movies theaters are among the venues that will have to remain closed. At-risk individuals are still encouraged to stay home as much as possible.
Gov. Cooper says many of the state’s key indicators are stable or even decreasing, and he is encouraged but cautious. N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen says the level of new COVID-19 cases in the state remain too high, and she continues to stress the importance of wearing a mask while out in public.
As of Tuesday, there have been 169, 424 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina. 2,741 of those cases have resulted in death.