Gov. Roy Cooper announces modified Phase 3 to begin Friday

Gov. Roy Cooper briefs media during a press briefing at the Emergency Operations Center on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 in Raleigh, N.C. Photo via NC Dept. of Public Safety

RALEIGH – Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Wednesday, Sept. 30 that the state will move forward into Phase 3, although restrictions will continue in some areas.

In today’s executive order, which takes effect at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2, businesses in industries that have been closed, such as amusement parks and movie theaters, will be allowed to open with restrictions on seating and capacity. Those restrictions include mandatory face coverings and limits of 30% capacity.

“Phase 3 continues our state’s dimmer switch approach to easing restrictions, and it will be effective through Friday, October 23,” said Cooper.

Bars with outdoor seating will be allowed to open at a maximum of 30% of outdoor seating capacity or 100 guests, whichever is less, but must keep indoor areas closed. Non-bar night spots and arenas, as defined by the order, will be allowed to open at a maximum of 25 guests per facility.

Workers, entertainers, athletes, and any other support staff do not count toward the capacity limits stated those limits. Last week, Cooper announced that large outdoor stadiums with greater than 10,000 seat capacity were told last week they could open at 7% capacity.

The restriction on alcohol sales for in-person consumption remains at 11 p.m. and mass gatherings limits indoors and outdoors remain at 25 and 50, respectively.

“Our top priority remains getting children back to in-person learning. This month marks a major shift for many families now and in the coming months as schools open their doors, some for the first time since the pandemic,” said Gov Cooper. “The virus continues to spread, so we must take the next steps methodically, and responsibly.”

Gov. Cooper’s full executive order can be read here.
The FAQ on Executive Order 169 can be viewed here.
Slides on metrics presented by DHHS can be viewed here.

This is a developing story and will be updated.