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Source: Raleigh News & Observer / Getty

As North Carolina COVID-19 metric continues to trend downward, Governor Roy Cooper announced that he is will ease coronavirus restrictions statewide.

During a press conference Tuesday, Gov. Cooper said he will sign an Executive Order that will continue to ease restrictions in several areas starting Friday, March 26 at 5 p.m. but the mask mandate and social distancing will remain in place.

“This virus and its more contagious variants are still spreading, and we may even need to be more careful as we ease restrictions in that we will likely come into contact with more people when we leave our homes and go into public places,” Gov. Cooper said.

Under this new order, several businesses will be able to increase maximum occupancy limits indoor and outdoor.

Indoor and outdoor 100% capacity:

  • Museums
  • Aquariums
  • Retail businesses
  • Salons and personal care shops

75% capacity indoor and up to 100% capacity outdoor:

  • Restaurants
  • Breweries and wineries
  • Amusement parks, gyms and pools, and other recreation

50% capacity indoor and outdoor:

  • Bars
  • Conference centers
  • Reception venues, sports arenas, and other live performances venues

In addition, Gov. Cooper is also lifting the 11 p.m. curfew for on-site alcohol consumption and mass gathering limit will be increased to 50 indoors and 100 outdoors.

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“These are significant changes, but they can be done safely. We have said all along that the science and data would be our guide in this dimmer switch approach, and they show we can do this. NC has done the work to slow the spread and get people vaccinated. I’m grateful for the efforts of people across the state. But the pandemic is not over,” Cooper said during the briefing.

Cooper also pointed out that North Carolina had success with vaccine distribution. As of today, health officials administered more than 4.1 million doses. A third of adults have received at least one dose, and 18.8% are fully vaccinated accounting to North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.


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