Per the governor’s latest executive order, North Carolina will move into Safer at Home Phase 2.5 starting at 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 4. Mask mandates, social distancing measures and other prevention methods remain in effect to contain the coronavirus. Phase 2.5 will stay in effect until 5 p.m., Friday, Oct. 2, 2020 unless repealed, replaced or rescinded by another applicable executive order.
Under this order:
• Mass gathering limits will be increased to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.
• Playgrounds will be allowed to open.
• Museums and aquariums can open at 50% capacity.
• Fitness and competitive physical activity facilities can open at 30% capacity.
• All employers in North Carolina are strongly encouraged to provide face coverings to their employees.
Also, the following mandates remain in place:
• Bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, amusement parks, dance halls and other entertainment facilities will remain closed
• Restaurants remain subject to capacity limits and other requirements for in-person dining.
• Personal care businesses such as hair salons, nail salons, barber shops and more remain subject to capacity limits and other requirements.
• Large venues remain subject to the mass gathering limits.
• Wedding receptions and other private events remain subject to the mass gathering limits.
• Face coverings are still required in public.
The North Carolina Dept. of Health and Human Services also has issued a secretarial order allowing for outdoor visitation at nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities. To participate, nursing homes must meet several requirements, including, but not limited to, not having a current outbreak, having a testing plan and updated written Infection Control or Preparedness plan for COVID-19, and having adequate personal protective equipment. The secretarial order goes into effect at 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 4 and remains in effect through Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020.
The full text of Executive Order No 163 can be read in the attached images and at https://files.nc.gov/governor/documents/files/EO163-New-Phase-2.5.pdf. The full text of Secretarial Order No. 3 can be read at https://files.nc.gov/covid/documents/Secretarial-Order-3.pdf. A “Frequently Asked Questions” document about Phase 2.5 can be found at https://files.nc.gov/governor/documents/files/Phase-2.5-FAQ.pdf.
People can protect themselves and others against the spread of the coronavirus by following the executive order and secretarial order mandates and remembering “the three Ws” from the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services:
• Wear a face covering;
• Wash your hands for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer; and
• Wait 6 feet apart from other people to keep your distance.