Read Manning Fulton’s Updated Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Sept 17, 2020

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This afternoon Governor Cooper held a press conference to announce a number of important updates regarding the stay-at-home order and plans to reopen the state.

First, he announced that the original stay-at-home order from Executive Order 121, which was set to expire on April 29th, has now been extended through Friday, May 8th.

Governor Cooper also laid out a multi-step plan for reopening the state in phases after May 8th, provided that certain metrics around the trajectory of cases, the ability to test and trace, and the availability of personal protective equipment are met.

If and when those metrics are met, the state would reopen in the following phases:

Phase 1

  • Modify the stay-at-home order allow travel not currently defined as essential allowing people to leave home for commercial activity at any business that is allowed to be open, such as clothing stores, sporting goods stores, book shops, houseware stores and other retailers.
  • Ensure that any open stores implement appropriate employee and consumer social distancing, enhanced hygiene and cleaning protocols, symptom screening of employees, accommodations for vulnerable workers, and provide education to employees and workers to combat misinformation.
  • Continue to limit gatherings to no more than 10 people.
  • Reopen parks that have been closed subject to the same gathering limitation. Outdoor exercise will continue to be encouraged.
  • Continue to recommend face coverings in public spaces when 6 feet of distancing isn’t possible.
  • Encourage employers to continue teleworking policies.
  • Continue rigorous restrictions on nursing homes and other congregant care settings.
  • Local emergency orders with more restrictive measures may remain in place.

Phase 2 (at least 2-3 weeks after Phase 1)

  • Lift stay-at-home order with strong encouragement for vulnerable populations to continue staying at home to stay safe.
  • Allow limited opening of restaurants, bars, fitness centers, personal care services, and other businesses that can follow safety protocols including the potential need to reduce capacity.
  • Allow gathering at places such as houses of worship and entertainment venues at reduced capacity.
  • Increase in number of people allowed at gatherings.
  • Open public playgrounds.
  • Continue rigorous restrictions on nursing homes and other congregant care settings.

Phase 3 (at least 4-6 weeks after Phase 2)

  • Lessen restrictions for vulnerable populations with encouragement to continue practicing physical distancing and minimizing exposure to settings where distancing isn’t possible.
  • Allow increased capacity at restaurants, bars, other businesses, houses of worships, and entertainment venues.
  • Further increase the number of people allowed at gatherings.
  • Continue rigorous restrictions on nursing homes and other congregant care settings.

You can view Governor Cooper’s press release here.

You can view the full slide show from today’s press conference here.

You can view the new Executive Order 135 here.

For additional information about the state’s response to the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”), please contact John Hardin or Will Morgan.

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