What To Expect As NC's Reopening Plan Begins
North Carolina entered the first phase of Governor Roy Cooper’s economic reopening plan Friday.
Cooper’s stay-at-home order remains in place during this first phase, but people are now allowed to leave their homes to shop for things other than just food or medicine. Most retail stores are allowed to reopen, but with reduced capacity and other limitations. Parks can reopen too, and churches can hold larger services, as long as they’re outside.
At a press conference Friday, Cooper urged residents to remain vigilant as rules are relaxed.
“Public health experts have explained that any place where people sit or stand still for more than 10 minutes, especially indoors, greatly increases the risk of spreading this virus," said Cooper. "And as we go out more, we must all get used to the three W's: wearing a face covering, waiting six feet apart from others, and washing our hands frequently.”
The stay-at-home order will be lifted in Phase 2, which can start as soon as May 22. And restaurants, gyms, and salons will be allowed to reopen, as long as they follow still unspecified safety protocols.
Phase 3 can start on June 19, at the earliest. During it, capacity can increase at restaurants, churches, and entertainment venues. Cooper says rules on gathering sizes will also become more lenient.
Tight restrictions on nursing homes and other congregant living facilities will remain in place through all three phases. And state officials have emphasized that rules could change if there is a spike in infections at any time.