Local News

What it means: 3 phases to re-open NC

Posted May 6, 2020 9:37 a.m. EDT
Updated May 19, 2020 2:41 p.m. EDT

Starting May 8, Gov. Roy Cooper and state health officials want to reopen the state in three phases as the public health impacts of the coronavirus in North Carolina appears to be easing. The timing of phases will be based on how the state is tracking against key health statistics. An announcement on Phase 2 is expected this week.

Here is a look at what you can – and can't – do.

Phase 1: May 8-May 22 (subject to change)

Phase 1 took effect at 5 p.m. Friday, May 8

  • People should continue to stay at home as much as possible.
  • Many non-essential businesses and retail stores can reopen to customers at 50% capacity.
  • Restaurant dining rooms remain closed; restaurants are still limited to takeout, delivery or drive-thru service.
  • Employees and customers at all open businesses should practice social distancing and enhanced hygiene and cleaning. Face coverings are strongly recommended.
  • Employees should be screened for fever and other COVID-19 symptoms before entering their workplaces.
  • People should work from home whenever possible.
  • Child care reopens for working families.
  • People should wear masks outside of their homes or when social distancing is difficult.
  • Parks and trails can reopen, but public playgrounds remain closed.
  • People should not gather in groups greater than 10.
  • Churches can hold outdoor worship services if people stay 6 feet apart and practice social distancing.
  • Senior citizens and at-risk groups should avoid public gatherings.
  • Strict rules and restrictions stay in place at nursing homes and other care facilities, including rehab centers and hospitals. Visitors are banned.

What's open: Restaurants (takeout, delivery or drive thru only), essential stores like banks, pharmacies, grocers, and hardware stores and smaller non-essential retail businesses like clothing stores, craft stores, gift shops, book stores, malls, etc.

What's still closed: Salons, spas, tattoo parlors, gyms, pools, places of worship, entertainment venues like movie theaters, bowling alleys and performance/sports arenas and indoor dining rooms.

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 2 will take effect 2-3 weeks after Phase 1, or as soon as May 22

  • The statewide stay-at-home order is lifted, although vulnerable people should still stay home.
  • Restaurants and bars can reopen dining rooms but at limited capacity.
  • Salons, barber shops, gyms, entertainment venues and places or worship can reopen but at limited capacity.
  • Public playgrounds reopen, and public pools may be allowed to open with additional safety measures.
  • People can gather in small groups of more than 10 people.
  • Strict rules and restrictions stay in place at nursing homes and other care facilities, including rehab centers and hospitals. Visitors are banned.

What's open: All businesses and venues but with restrictions and smaller capacities

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 3 will take effect 4-6 weeks after Phase 2

  • Vulnerable people should stay home or avoid crowded spaces.
  • Restaurants, bars, retail stores, gyms, churches and other venues and businesses can increase capacity.
  • Larger groups can gather again.
  • Strict rules and restrictions stay in place at nursing homes and other care facilities, including rehab centers and hospitals.

What's open: All businesses and venues

Phase 3

Have more questions?

See graphics outlining the three phases or check out a detailed plan from the state that outlines Phase 1 criteria.

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