Gov. Cooper Eases Restrictions

From the desk of Senator Kirk deViere

Governor Cooper Announces Easing of COVID Restrictions as North Carolina Trends Stabilize Key indicators used to guide decisions throughout pandemic show state’s trends are moving in the right direction
As North Carolina’s numbers continue to show improvement and vaccine distribution increases, Governor Roy Cooper announced today that the state will carefully ease some of its COVID-19 restrictions. Executive Order No. 195 will take effect February 26th at 5 pm and will expire March 26th at 5 pm.    Today’s Executive Order lifts the Modified Stay at Home Order requiring people to stay at home and businesses to close to the public between 10 pm and 5 am.

The number of people who may gather indoors will increase from 10 to 25, while 50 remains the limit for outdoors.   The curfew on the sale of alcohol for onsite consumption will be moved from 9 pm to 11 pm. Some businesses, including bars and amusement parks, will now be open for patrons indoors as they adhere to new occupancy restrictions.

Many businesses, venues and arenas will have increased occupancy both indoors and outdoors.    Executive Order No. 195 has two general categories of occupancy restrictions: 30% capacity and 50% capacity. Because indoor spaces have a higher risk of spread for COVID-19, indoor facilities in the 30%-occupancy category may not exceed two hundred fifty (250) people per indoor room or indoor space.   

30% Capacity Limit (may not exceed 250-persons in indoor spaces) Bars, Meeting, Reception, and Conference Spaces, Lounges (including tobacco) and Night Clubs, Indoor areas of Amusement Parks, Movie Theatres, Entertainment facilities (e.g., bingo parlors, gaming establishments)Sports Arenas and Fields*Venues*Indoor event venues with more than 5,000 seats may be excepted from the 250 person limit if they follow additional safety measures up to 15% capacity.  

50% Capacity Limit  Restaurants Breweries, Wineries, Distilleries, Fitness and Physical Activity Facilities (e.g., gyms, bowling alleys, rock climbing facilities)Pools, Museums and Aquariums, Retailers, Outdoor areas of Amusement Parks, Salons, Personal Care, Tattoo Parlors, Safety protocols such as masks, social distancing and frequent handwashing will continue to be important as people adjust to the new order, health officials said.   

Today marks the first day of eligibility for teachers to receive vaccination as the state begins to expand access to group 3 essential workers. Due to manufacturers’ shipping delays caused by inclement weather, DHHS continues to work with providers to administer both last week’s shipment and this week’s shipment this week and continue to exhaust first dose supply before next week’s shipment arrives.   Read Executive Order No. 195.   Read Frequently Asked Questions.
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Published by Angie Hedgepeth

Angie Hedgepeth, Government Affairs Director for the Association, attends all the local meetings each month, as well as NAR and NCAR meetings, and keeps members abreast of the multiple issues being addressed in local, state and national government. She prepares reports on the meetings she attends and they are included in the weekly "Government Affairs Update".