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Cornelius News

Governor extends Phase 2 to July 17


June 24. Gov. Roy Cooper has just extended the “safer at home” order for another three weeks, as well as ordered the wearing of face masks by the public in stores and out in public when social distancing can not be maintained.

“Right now our increasing numbers show we need to hit the pause button while we work to stabilize our trends,” Cooper said.

He said new daily cases of COVID-19 are still growing, with hospitalizations climbing more than 50 percent in a little over a month. Cooper, who said getting children back to school was one of his top priorities, said information about North Carolina schools reopening will come next week.

The current safer-at-home order expires July 17, when gyms and bars are expected to be allowed to reopen. For FAQs on the order and face masks, click here.

The state has moved from the mid-500s to the 900s in numbers of new COVID-19 cases.

Saying that “masking works,” Cooper is requiring that people wear masks to slow the spread of the virus. People at home and those exercising outside and not within six feet of others as well as children under 11 are exceptions.

Cloth face coverings, when worn consistently, can decrease the spread of COVID-19, especially among people who are not yet showing symptoms of the virus. Until now, face coverings had been strongly recommended.

NY, NJ, CT impose restrictions on NC travelers

Meanwhile, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are requiring North Carolinians to quarantine for two weeks if they visit those states.

“We’ve seen a steady increase which is what we want to stop,” Cooper said.

Support from leading businesses

The mask plan has the support of major corporate players like Atrium, Bank of America, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, the Carolina Panthers, Honeywell, Lowe’s and Red Venture.

Law enforcement can cite businesses for not requiring customers and employees to wear masks.

To read Cooper’s Executive Order, click here.

Governor’s press release

Headline: NC Pauses in Safer At Home Phase 2, Adds Statewide Requirement for Face Coverings

RALEIGH: Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen today announced that North Carolina will remain in Safer at Home Phase 2 for three more weeks. Cooper also announced that face coverings must be worn when people are in public places as officials seek to stabilize concerning trends of increasing viral spread. 

Cooper and Cohen were joined by Dennis Taylor, President of the North Carolina Nurses Association and Eugene A. Woods, President and CEO of Atrium Health.

“North Carolina is relying on the data and the science to lift restrictions responsibly, and right now our increasing numbers show we need to hit the pause button while we work to stabilize our trends,” said Governor Cooper. “We need to all work together so we can protect our families and neighbors, restore our economy, and get people back to work and our children back to school.” 

“I know North Carolinians are strong, resilient and care deeply about our communities. We pride ourselves on helping our neighbors. The best way we can do that now is by taking the simple action of wearing a face covering that covers your nose and mouth. If we each do our part, we can get back to the people and places we love,” said Dr. Mandy Cohen, NCDHHS Secretary.

Growing evidence shows that cloth face coverings, when worn consistently, can decrease the spread of COVID-19, especially among people who are not yet showing symptoms of the virus. Until now, face coverings had been strongly recommended. Under today’s executive order, people must wear face coverings when in public places where physical distancing is not possible. 

In addition, certain businesses must have employees and customers wear face coverings, including retail businesses, restaurants, personal care and grooming; employees of child care centers and camps; state government agencies under the Governor’s Cabinet; workers and riders of transportation; and workers in construction/trades, manufacturing, agriculture, meat processing and healthcare and long-term care settings.

“Wearing a face covering is an easy thing to do that can make a huge impact for all of us. A major spike in cases would be catastrophic to the system, and without your cooperation, nurses and our fellow healthcare providers will have a harder time caring for sick patients for weeks and months to come,” said Dennis Taylor, a nurse, and President of the North Carolina Nurses Association. 

“As the leader of the state’s largest health system, I am pro-health and also 100 percent pro-business. In fact, the two are inextricably connected and I’m very proud of the way business leaders and health experts are working together to keep our economy strong,” said Eugene A. Woods, President and CEO of Atrium Health. “Medical science says to reduce the spread of COVID-19 masking works, and my sincere hope is that all the people of North Carolina can join forces to make wearing a mask not something we feel we have to do – but something that we want to do to keep each other, our neighbors, our children and our loved ones healthy and safe”

Based on the metrics laid out in April by Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen, North Carolina is evaluating a combination of the data from the following categories that shows the indicators moving in the wrong direction, causing officials to implement today’s pause in Phase 2. 

Trajectory in COVID-Like Illness (CLI) Surveillance Over 14 Days

North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is increasing.
Trajectory of Lab-Confirmed Cases Over 14 Days

North Carolina’s trajectory of lab-confirmed cases starting to level, but is still increasing.
Trajectory in Percent of Tests Returning Positive Over 14 Days

North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive remains elevated. 
Trajectory in Hospitalizations Over 14 Days

North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations are increasing, though we have capacity in our healthcare system.
In addition to these metrics, the state continues building capacity to be able to adequately respond to an increase in virus spread. These areas include:

Laboratory Testing 

North Carolina is averaging more than 17,000 tests a day for the past week and there are more than 500 sites listed on online plus additional pop-up sites. 
North Carolina labs and labs around the country are seeing supply shortages for laboratory chemicals needed to process tests.

Tracing Capability

There are over 1,500 full-time and part-time staff supporting contact tracing efforts at the local health department level, including the 309 Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative contact tracers. These new hires reflect the diversity of the communities they serve, and 44% are bilingual.  
Personal Protective Equipment 

Our personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies are stable.