By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
The State of North Carolina will remain in Phase II of COVID-19 re-opening for at least five more weeks. Gov. Roy Cooper made the announcement during a press conference on the afternoon of Wednesday, Aug. 5.
Some of the main components of Phase II include: restaurants at 50 percent capacity; bars and night clubs closed; barbers, salons, and personal care businesses at 50 percent capacity; theaters, indoor music venues, bowling alleys, skating rinks, etc. are closed; gyms and fitness studios closed; playgrounds closed; pools open with restrictions; and gatherings are limited to 25 people outdoors and 10 people indoors.
Gov. Cooper spoke of better numbers but said it is important to remain cautious. “Stable is good, but decreasing (numbers) is better. While we are seeing stabilization of our numbers, that doesn’t mean we can let up. We know this stability is fragile, and these trends can change quickly if we let down our guards.”
He said the mask mandate is working. “Experts believe our mandatory mask order stabilized our numbers. And, just last week, we added a curfew on alcohol sales to keep restaurants from turning into bars which are high-transmission areas.”
Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services, agreed, “My glimmer of hope remains as we see subtle signs of progress. This is a testament to the hard work people have been doing across the state from our health care workers providing care in extreme weather conditions to the labs who have brought down test result turn-around times and to the many North Carolinians who are always wearing a face covering in public.”
She went on to say, “Here, in North Carolina, we continue to take a measured approach making decisions based on the best available evidence and data that we have.”
Dr. Cohen said that while she feels the safety measures are working, it is important to continue with them. “While overall, we’re seeing signs of stability, we still have much work to do. Our recent trends show what is possible when we commit to slowing the spread, wearing face coverings, and following those simple, but powerful three Ws.”
Gov. Cooper started Wednesday’s press conference by speaking of the 2,050 people statewide who have passed away due to COVID-19. “They are more than numbers on a chart. They are North Carolinians who are missed dearly, and, we continue to pray for their families.”