First phase to reopen state underway

Published: May. 5, 2020 at 5:16 PM EDT
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The first phase of reopening the state is now underway.

Governor Cooper said the modified stay-at-home order allows more reasons for people to leave their homes and permits more businesses to reopen.

He said stores are now able to maintain 50% capacity as long as social distancing is kept. What will not be allowed to reopen yet are personal care businesses like barbershops, hair salons, and gyms.

During this period, restaurants can only serve people with drive-through, take out, or delivery service.

Bars and entertainment venues will remain closed, the governor said.

Cooper extended his one-month stay-at-home order until Friday and said the state will reopen in three phases.

The new stay-at-home order expires on May 22nd, and the governor said they will then decide whether the state can move into the next phase of reopening.

Here is a link to

on the governor's new order.

Phase 1:

• Modify the Stay At Home order allow travel not currently defined as essential allowing people to leave home for commercial activity at any business that is allowed to be open, such as clothing stores, sporting goods stores, book shops, houseware stores and other retailers.

• Ensure that any open stores implement appropriate employee and consumer social distancing, enhanced hygiene and cleaning protocols, symptom screening of employees, accommodations for vulnerable workers, and provide education to employees and workers to combat misinformation

• Continue to limit gatherings to no more than 10 people

• Reopen parks that have been closed subject to the same gathering limitation. Outdoor exercise will continue to be encouraged.

• Continue to recommend face coverings in public spaces when 6 feet of distancing isn’t possible

• Encourage employers to continue teleworking policies

• Continue rigorous restrictions on nursing homes and other congregant care settings

• Local emergency orders with more restrictive measures may remain in place.

Phase 2 - At least 2-3 weeks after Phase 1

• Lift Stay At Home order with strong encouragement for vulnerable populations to continue staying at home to stay safe

• Allow limited opening of restaurants, bars, fitness centers, personal care services, and other businesses that can follow safety protocols including the potential need to reduce capacity

• Allow gathering at places such as houses of worship and entertainment venues at reduced capacity

• Increase in number of people allowed at gatherings

• Open public playgrounds

• Continue rigorous restrictions on nursing homes and other congregant care settings

Phase 3 - At least 4-6 weeks after Phase 2

• Lessen restrictions for vulnerable populations with encouragement to continue practicing physical distancing and minimizing exposure to settings where distancing isn’t possible

• Allow increased capacity at restaurants, bars, other businesses, houses of worships, and entertainment venues

• Further increase the number of people allowed at gatherings

• Continue rigorous restrictions on nursing homes and other congregant care settings

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