North Carolina moves to COVID-19 ‘Phase 3’ this Friday

[image courtesy CDC]

Gov. Roy Cooper today announced that North Carolina will take a “careful step” into COVID-19 “Phase 3” restrictions beginning Friday, Oct. 2, at 5 p.m.

Under Phase 3, large outdoor venues with seating greater than 10,000 may operate with 7% occupancy for spectators with other safety protocols. Smaller outdoor entertainment venues may operate outdoors at 30% of outdoor capacity or 100 guests, whichever is less.

Movie theaters and conference centers may open indoor spaces to 30% of capacity, or 100 seated guests, whichever is less. Bars may operate outdoors only at 30% of outdoor capacity, or 100 guests, whichever is less. Outdoor amusement parks may open at 30% occupancy.

The limits on mass gatherings will remain at 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors. The 11 p.m. curfew on alcohol sales for in-person consumption in locations such as restaurants and outdoor bars will be extended.

The governor said Phase 3 will continue through Oct. 23.

“I believe that North Carolina can do this safely. But so I am clear, every gathering carries the risk of spreading this disease. Being safe means being smart and making sure others around you are doing the same,” Cooper said. “If you’re still at high-risk, you’re still safer at home. If you’re going out, do what works — wear a mask, keep social distancing, wash your hands often and don’t patronize or go to places where people aren’t doing that.”

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Kari Pugh is digital director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach her at kpugh@jammediallc.com