Local & State
|Gov. Roy Cooper relaxes rules on mass gatherings starting Oct. 2|
|Bars, movie theaters can open with Phase 3|
|Published Wednesday, September 30, 2020 6:00 pm|
|OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR|
|Gov. Roy Cooper announced relaxation of restrictions on mass gatherings as part of his executive order issued Wednesday.|
Gov. Roy Cooper announced Executive Order 169 today, which detail the next phase of easing COVID-19 restrictions. The order goes into effect Oct. 2 at 5 p.m. and will run through Oct. 23.
North Carolina has 210,632 confirmed cases, 956 people hospitalized due to the disease, and 3,532 deaths.
“Today we are cautiously encouraged about where we are in this pandemic,” Cooper said. “The key indicators we watch in North Carolina remain mostly stable, but I have to tell you that we see warning signs that the disease could spike again here and across the country.”
However, Cooper credited the state’s stability with his decision to move into Phase 3. Coming changes will impact spaces such as indoor and outdoor entertainment venues, bars and outdoor amusement parks. Outdoor venues with over 10,000 seating capacity may operate at 7% capacity, which was previously announced. This allows the Carolina Panthers to host fans Sunday when they play the Arizona Cardinals in Charlotte. Over 5,000 fans will be permitted to attend the game.
“[Fans] will be in the lower bowl and the suites,” Panthers President Tom Glick said. “The upper bowl will be empty. We’ll be making modifications to concessions to make sure that we have more grab-and-go, single-serve and to make sure that everything is as safe as it should be for our fans on game day.”
Multiple industries are permitted to operate at 30% capacity or 100 people, whichever is less. These include smaller outdoor venues, movie theaters, conference centers and bars, which can operate outdoors only. Outdoor amusement parks may also open at 30% capacity.
Face coverings remain mandatory for everyone over the age of 5, and an 11 p.m. curfew on alcohol sales for in-person consumption has been extended. The limit on mass gatherings for 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors remains unchanged.
“Until we have a vaccine or a reliable cure, precautions like the 3 W’s [wear a mask, wait 6 feet apart and wash your hands] are with us for a while,” Cooper said. “Our children can go back to school and our economy can fully rebuild when we’re safe and people have confidence that they can stay healthy.”
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