By: Felipe Rivas
2 min read October 2020 — North Carolina will remain paused in Phase 3 coronavirus reopening restrictions for at least three more weeks as health officials continue to monitor viral trends, Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Wednesday. The state’s Phase 3 transition went into effect Oct.1 and was set to expire on Friday. Now, the state will remain in Phase 3 until Nov. 13.
North Carolina has seen increased hospitalizations and an upswing of cases in recent weeks, the governor said in a press release while underscoring the importance of masks and social distancing. “As this pandemic continues, I know it’s difficult and tiring to keep up our guard, especially when we’re gathered with people we love. But it’s necessary. No one wants to spread COVID-19 accidentally to friends or family, so we must keep prevention at the forefront,” Cooper said. North Carolina has seen 250,592 total confirmed coronavirus cases and 4,032 deaths, while Mecklenburg County has seen 32,264 confirmed coronavirus cases and 376 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. “Wearing a mask shows you care about people. Wearing a mask is an easy way to protect our communities and look out for each other. Confronting the virus head on and doing our part as individuals is good for our health and good for our economy,” Cooper said.
Under the Phase 3 order, small outdoor venues, movie theaters and conference centers could reopen at 30% capacity or 100 seats. Amusement parks, facilities and conference centers were also allowed to reopen. North Carolina’s unemployment rate peaked at 12.7 percent in May and fluctuated as the state began its reopening process to sit at 7% as of September, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In an effort to help North Carolinians distressed by the impact of the pandemic on their jobs, the state is taking applications for the new N.C. Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) program. The program will assist eligible low- and moderate-income renters experiencing financial hardship due to the virus by providing rent and utility assistance to prevent evictions and utility disconnections. Twelve thousand eligible applicants have filed for assistance since the program launched earlier in October. “As the number of applications climbs higher every day, it should make us remember that it’s more than a number. Every one of those applications represents a family having to make impossible choices between basic necessities during a global pandemic,” Cooper said.
For more information, visit: https://governor.nc.gov/