Cooper said ‘numbers’ dictated the decision to pause re-opening, require face coverings

By on June 24, 2020

Governor Roy Cooper

On a day when North Carolina announced its second-highest level of new daily COVID-19 cases (1,721) and hospitalizations (906) since the pandemic began, Governor Roy Cooper announced the state was pausing any further re-opening for at least three weeks, until July 17. Among other things, that means that businesses such as bars and gyms remain closed for now.

Revealing the decision to remain in the current “Safer-at-Home’” Phase Two during a June 24 press briefing, Cooper also said the state would now require face coverings in public places, indoor and outdoor, when social distancing is not possible. There are some exemptions, but the governor also made clear that businesses and organizations are responsible for ensuring that employees and customers adhered to the face covering requirement and that they could be cited for failure to do so.

“The numbers we see [tracking COVID-19] are a stark warning, and we must pay attention,” said Cooper in revealing the decision. “I’m concerned.”  Later, in response to a reporter’s question, he added that, “These numbers clearly tell us we should not be moving forward with easing these restrictions.”

The four key numbers Cooper cited were reviewed at the press briefing by North Carolina Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen. Referring to the number of people presenting in medical facilities with “COVID-like symptoms,” Cohen said, “there’s been an increase in that metric in the last few weeks.” As for the number of lab-confirmed cases, now totaling 56,174 overall in North Carolina, Cohen said, “the trend has continued to be elevated through most of our Phase Two data.”

Cohen also expressed concern about two other metrics. One is the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests out of all tests administered, which is now in the 8% range as opposed to the desired 5% target. The other is the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, where the “trajectory…is rising,” in Cohen’s words. She did express confidence that for now, “We still have capacity in our health care system,” to handle the outbreak.

The state’s decision to halt the easing of restrictions and to require face coverings seemed increasingly inevitable in light of recent events. In the past few weeks, during their frequent press briefings, Cooper and Cohen repeatedly and consistently expressed their concern over the key trends in the outbreak’s trajectory. And the push to require face coverings in public picked up steam when the city of Raleigh implemented such a measure on June 19. In addition, the mayor of Charlotte had recently asked Cooper to implement such a requirement statewide.

On June 21, Dare County began requiring the use of face coverings in public places when social distancing wasn’t possible. That came after members of the Dare County Control Group reversed a previous decision that recommended, but did not mandate, their use. There has been a notable increase in recent COVID-19 cases in the county, with 20 new cases reported in the last four days.

While the governor declined to blame state residents for some responsibility in the spread of COVID-19 in the state, he did say, in response to a reporter’s question, that, “I think there are people intentionally not wearing masks and intentionally not social distancing.”

The decision not to further re-open the state for at least three weeks will certainly come as a disappointment to gym owners, who were slated to gather in Raleigh on June 24 to advocate for legislative action to allow them to open. In the press briefing, Cooper did indicate that he would look to re-open gyms, playgrounds and museums if the data regarding the outbreak had improved by July 17. But the governor pointedly declined to mention bars as a possible candidate for opening in a next phase.

Having revealed one significant decision today, Cooper noted that the state would also have to make another one by next week. July 1 is the date by which state officials are expected to announce how public schools will open this August. The three options on the table include one with minimal social distancing, another with more social distancing that would mix classroom attendance with remote online learning, and a third choice that would entail only remote learning.


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Comments

  • Carolyn Mc

    Sorry re not knowing how to add my information so I’m going back to what evidently was cut off regarding Governor Cooper’s illegal and invalid orders regarding the co-vid which has shut down North Carolina businesses and us!
    This proof is written in a lawsuit by Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest to Governor Cooper saying that every mandate and every law he made was illegal and ( therefore voided, right?) and therefore, why do we want to obey illegal laws? ALL of Cooper’s laws and mandates & requirements are disobedient to our state law! He has disobeyed the law which he took an oath to defend and uphold to our US & NC Constitutions.
    He has disobeyed with every law he has made:
    See WITN.COM. 6/25. Re Lt. Gov Dan Forest and his letter to Cooper of the lawsuit and why.
    Therefore, the laws now existing are voided and illegal, are they not? Must we obey illegal laws? Also we can rightfully call him a criminal by court laws.
    Criminals are anybody in court that is disobedient to the law: are we going to just keep obeying these criminal laws which are now null and void by Being illegal? Governor Cooper is under a lawsuit from the state Council because he disobeyed our State’s laws & our Constitution.

    Thursday, Jul 2 @ 12:07 pm
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    Carolyn, the Lt. Governor may ultimately be proved right, but the filing of a lawsuit in and of itself does not void laws or make them illegal. That would be up to the courts.

    Thursday, Jul 2 @ 5:59 pm
  • CarolynMc

    Hi Mark: of course that is true: but it is obvious he has disobeyed the law of NC since 3/17 and that is my premise and conclusion, which I proved with evidence of the Lt. Governor as per website I furnished..
    Thank you for this forum.

    Thursday, Jul 2 @ 6:19 pm
  • Carolyn Mc

    I offer plain evidence of a falsehood to persuade subtlety the public: a non ” pandemic” ; it is to use numbers correctly when proving a point or to convince or persuade without making all apparent. We must also define the term that people say and repeat ad nauseum.
    Pan is Greek for ” upon all”
    Demos is Greek for “People”
    Therefore, we have Reason to disbelieve words/terms when not used correctly.
    A pandemic is not usable nor true! Therefore, logically, it is false info.
    Furthermore. numbers prove my premise also.
    Any of us can Calculate percentages with Total number of people in your county, or city, or state or country: only % proves the results true: otherwise, numbers are not describing the situation: more false statements given almost daily to hide the fact of no emergency looming or present: & no pandemic:
    see the resulting miniscule numbers.
    Example
    Population of NC = 10.5 Million
    Amount dead from covid= 1400 ÷10.5 million
    = 0.0001% dead from virus! And the highest percent of tested cases who died had at least 1 underlying health problem.vand most were in nursing homes telling us their immune systems were incapacitated.
    How tiny is this amount of deaths to declare an emergency!!
    How minute is this to affect restaurants & businesses of any kind! And so stated It Gov Forest re closings: not re percent but according to law of NC.
    One more website to.look up is what kills any virus? Zinc does: test your Deficiency or not by buying a bottle of liquid zinc. And do a taste test: for a coronary physician : if you taste the bitter zinc in your tongue you are not deficient ; if you can’t taste it, then you are deficient: put the liquid zinc in a drink of some kind for diluting it for your daily dose. I buy AMAZON. So “thinc zinc”

    Thursday, Jul 2 @ 7:04 pm
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