North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper revealed Thursday, April 23 how he plans to start relaxing his statewide stay-at-home order once the metrics for COVID-19 testing and trends he has established are met.
Phase 1 of the reopening process will involve permitting travel that is not defined as essential, which will allow 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.”
The stores that are allowed to reopen will have to adhere to the social distancing rules for employees and customers, use enhanced hygiene and cleaning protocols, do symptom screening of employees and provide education to employees.
The prohibition of gatherings of more than 10 people will continue.
Parks will be reopened and people will continue to be encouraged to get outdoor exercise.
Face coverings in public spaces will be recommended but not required.
When possible, employees who can work from home will be encouraged to continue to do so.
The rigorous restrictions on nursing homes and other congregant care facilities will continue
Local emergency orders that have more restrictive measures may remain in place.
Two or three weeks after phase 1 is implemented phase 2 will go into effect, which will lift the stay-at-home order, but vulnerable populations will be strongly encouraged to continue to stay at home.
Restaurants, bars, fitness centers, personal care services and other businesses that can follow safety protocols including operating at a reduced capacity will be allowed to reopen.
Churches, other houses of worship and entertainment venues will be allowed to reopen at a reduced capacity.
The number of people who can gather together will be increased.
The playgrounds will be reopened.
The rigorous restrictions on nursing homes and other congregant care facilities will continue.
Four to six weeks after phase 2 has gone into effect phase 3 will allow increased capacity at restaurants, bars, entertainment venues and houses of worship.
It will also increase the number of people allowed at a gathering.
The restrictions for vulnerable populations will be lessened but with encouragement to continue to practice social distancing.
The restrictions on nursing homes and other congregant care facilities will be continued.