NC bar owners want to see science behind decision to keep them closed
Bar owners across North Carolina are holding off on a lawsuit against Gov. Roy Cooper's restrictions that continue to keep bars closed during the coronavirus pandemic so they can review the data state officials are using to justify the closures.Posted — Updated
The North Carolina Bar and Tavern Association said they plan to meet with members of Cooper's administration and the state Attorney General's Office on Monday or Tuesday.
"If the breweries are open, restaurants are open, distilleries, wineries, then bars need to be open too, Zack Medford, president of the association and owner of Isaac Hunter’s Tavern in Raleigh. "We need to be held to the exact same standards."
"This legislation would mean that, even if there is a surge that overwhelms our hospitals, that bars will stay open," the governor said Thursday.
NCBATA said it wants to "see the information he relied on" in deciding to leave bars out of Phase 2 before proceeding with a lawsuit.
"There is still a lot of COVID in the community, and if we are not careful about our reopening, we will see more people in the hospital," said Cameron Wolfe, an associate professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Duke University's School of Medicine.
Even though he backs the state's go-slow approach, Wolfe said bars, known as places for people to congregate and spend time in close quarters, could conceivably operate safely.
Bar owners would have to keep people apart and change how they move and are served, among other things.
Some North Carolina gym owners have already filed suit over Cooper's restrictions, and a federal judge denied a restraining order sought by strip clubs across the state seeking to reopen. A group of bowling alleys also have threatened to sue.
Copyright 2023 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.