Gov. Cooper expected to discuss possible easing of NC COVID-19 restrictions during news conference

State News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Gov. Roy Cooper will hold a news conference Wednesday at 2 p.m. during which he is expected to discuss the possibility of easing the current COVID-19 curfew and restrictions implemented across the state

It’s a possibility that has bar and restaurant owners along Glenwood Avenue cautiously optimistic. 

For the past 11 months, the bar Parliament and many others across the Triangle have been empty.

“Right now we’re digging into our kid’s college funds just trying to find a way to keep afloat until the day comes that we can welcome guests back inside of our businesses, it’s not fair,” said Zack Medford, president of the North Carolina Bar and Tavern Association.

Medford hopes that changes. He says as more than 1 million North Carolinians have been vaccinated and fewer counties remain in the red zone, now is the time for bars to slowly reopen.

He’s asking for bars to operate at 30 percent capacity indoors with the ability to serve alcohol until 11 p.m. 

State health director Dr. Mandy Cohen addressed the possibility of some news about restrictions on the way. 

“The governor is looking at ways we can ease restrictions going forward. I think he’ll be announcing those later this week,” said Cohen.

The organization North Carolina Bar Owners took to Twitter saying they anticipate the capacity and curfew requests may be granted. While the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association says they’re hopeful that may happen as soon as Wednesday. 

Medford is also hopeful.

“We’re really optimistic about the conversations we’ve had with the administration and we think that we’re going to see some big changes tomorrow,” said Medford.

Many people still differ on the right way to move forward on the issue.

“We should probably keep the curfew for a little bit longer because the numbers are starting to go back down. But if they do open up bars, I feel like maybe they will spike back up,” said Maddy Ozolins, a Raleigh resident. 

“I definitely think that they should be able to slowly reopen with the vaccine number going up. I think that’s what we need to pay more attention to,” said Raleigh resident Philip Smith.

However, all are interested to learn how Cooper’s announcement Wednesday will impact their daily life and businesses in the coming days.

The news conference will be livestreamed at CBS17.com

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