Cabinet Secretary Azar visits testing site in North Carolina

State News
Alex Azar

FILE – In this July 16, 2019, file photo, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar pauses while speaking during a Cabinet meeting at the White House, in Washington. The government opened a new program Tuesday to provide an HIV prevention drug for free to people who need the protection but have no insurance to pay for it. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A key booster of President Donald Trump’s administration response to the new coronavirus and efforts to revive the national economy is visiting North Carolina.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar planned to visit on Thursday a testing site run by Atrium Health at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord.

The Cabinet secretary was expected to meet afterward with local health care leaders about efforts to dull the spread of COVID-19 and reopen North Carolina safely.

The visit comes the day before a new order by Gov. Roy Cooper takes effect that restarts indoor dining at restaurants and reopens barber shops, salons and pools — all at reduced capacity. But gyms, movie theaters and other indoor entertainment venues must remain closed for another month.

State health officials have reported more than 20,000 positive cases of the virus and about 700 related deaths.

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