RALEIGH, NC (WSPA) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed a new executive order Tuesday modifying the state’s Stay At Home order and transition to Phase 1 of easing certain COVID-19 restrictions.
According to the news release, the new order takes effect Friday, May 8 at 5 p.m.
Certain businesses will still remain closed as the state continues to battle coronavirus.
“COVID-19 is still a serious threat to our state, and Phase 1 is designed to be a limited easing of restrictions that can boost parts of our economy while keeping important safety rules in place,” Cooper said. “This is a careful and deliberate first step, guided by the data, and North Carolinians still must use caution while this virus is circulating.”
Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, asks NC resident to still be cautious in order to continue to protect our families and neighbors.
“When you leave your home, follow the three W’s: Wear a face covering, wash your hands and wait six feet apart,” Cohen said.
According to the release, Tuesday’s order removes the distinction between essential and non-essential businesses:
- Retail businesses are allowed to open at 50 percent capacity and will be required to direct customers to stand 6 feet apart, perform frequent cleanings, provide hand sanitizer when available, and screen workers for symptoms.
- The order also allows people to leave their homes for commercial activity at any business that is open
The businesses that will remain closed includes:
- Personal care businesses
- Entertainment venues
According to the release, restaurants can only continue to serve customers for drive-through, take-out and delivery.
Workers at retail and other businesses are recommended to wear cloth face coverings and teleworking is still encouraged for businesses that can do so.
According to the release, small outdoor gatherings are allowed in Phase 1, but gatherings of more than 10 people are still prohibited. Cloth face coverings are also advised to be worn when outside the home and with others.
“During Phase 1, childcare facilities will be open to serve families of parents who are working or looking for work,” according to the release. “These centers will be required to follow strict cleaning protocols. Summer day camps can operate in compliance with NC DHHS guidelines.”
The order is in effect until 5 p.m. on Friday, May 22, but NC officials said the end of the order does not necessarily mean the state will move to Phase 2.
According to the release, Phase 2 will only start if data and indicators are in the right place.