Cooper: Election has been a focus but our work in fighting COVID continues
North Carolina has been dealing with the coronavirus pandemic for nine months now, and cases have continued to mount. Steadily, the 7-day rolling average has inched upward. On Thursday the rolling average was as high as its ever been -- 2,381. On Tuesday, 67 North Carolinians died from the virus.Posted — Updated
On Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Roy Cooper addressed the public about rising coronavirus cases in North Carolina.
"The state moved into Phase 3 of coronavirus restrictions at the beginning of October -- which meant movie theaters, reception halls and bars with outdoor seating were allowed to reopen. But since moving into Phase 3, there has only been a spike in cases," he said.
While Cooper said he didn't want to move North Carolina back to a different phase of reopening, he noted "data will guide our decisions." Cooper added that "we can get control of this virus if people come come together, wear a mask and social distance."
"I'm concerned that our numbers will trend even higher as people gather for the holidays," said Dr. Mandy Cohen, state secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. "If you do decide to host a holiday gathering -- we can't eliminate risk, but we can minimize it."
Cohen suggested clustering family members from the same household at the same table, cleaning and disinfecting common surfaces and wearing a mask at all times except for when eating.
She added that anyone considering traveling for the holidays should get a coronavirus screening test beforehand.
"It is by no means perfect. It can catch some people who have the virus but aren't showing symptoms," explained Cohen. "Think about getting a test before traveling or getting together. If you test negative -- you're not clear, [you] still need to wear a mask. "
Additional guidance on how to safely celebrate Thanksgiving and other upcoming holiday gatherings is expected next week.
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