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Phase 2 of North Carolina reopening extended to July 17
Gov. Cooper orders use of facial coverings
Published Wednesday, June 24, 2020 5:50 pm
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper announced the extension of Phase 2 of the state's reopening until at least July 17. Cooper also announced in an executive order mandating facial coverings when social distancing rules can't be observed.

North Carolina isn’t going into Phase 3 of reopening the state’s economy just yet.

Gov. Roy Cooper announced today the state will not move forward to the next stage of opening businesses shuttered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic tentatively scheduled for June 26. The state remains in Phase 2 until at least July 17.

As of today, North Carolina has 1,721 new COVID-19 cases, 906 hospitalized cases, the state’s second-highest number for cases and hospitalizations in a 24-hour period.

“North Carolina will pause and continue our safer-at-home Phase 2 for another three weeks,” Cooper said.

Executive Order No. 147 also makes face coverings mandatory, have been shown to help lessen the spread of the coronavirus, when social distancing is not possible. Exemptions include people with medical or behavior health issues or disabilities as well as children under 11 years of age. Face coverings for active eating, drinking, or exercise are also an exemption.

“You can go outside and exercise and walk without wearing a face mask, as long as you are 6 feet from other people,” Cooper said.

A face covering is defined in the executive order as “a covering of the nose and mouth that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears or is simply wrapped around the lower face. A Face Covering can be made of a variety of synthetic and natural fabrics, including cotton, silk or linen. Ideally, a Face Covering has two (2) or more layers.”

Face coverings are required in retail businesses, restaurants, personal care, grooming and tattoo shops; child care facilities, day camps and overnight camps, state government agencies, while operating or using public transportation, high-density occupational settings, meat or poultry processing plants, long-term care facilities and health care facilities.  

Atrium Health CEO Gene Woods announced during the press conference that the health care provider along with other corporate entities would donate 1 million masks across North Carolina. Bank of America, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, the Carolina Panthers, Honeywell, Lowe’s, Wells Fargo and Red Ventures are part of the collaborative effort.

“Follow the science, and the science says ‘masking works,’” Woods said.


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