Cooper announces 11 p.m. restaurant alcohol curfew

By on July 28, 2020


Gov. Roy Cooper

On a day when the numbers tracking the spread of COVID-19 in North Carolina showed some signs of “stabilizing,” Gov. Roy Cooper announced an Executive Order that mandates an 11 p.m. curfew on the sale of alcohol in restaurants. The Order also applies to breweries, wineries and distilleries, and bars in the state remain closed. The curfew will take effect on Friday, July 31.

“We want to prevent restaurants from turning into bars after hours,” said Cooper at a July 28 media briefing. Noting that bars are venues for COVID-19 transmission, the governor added that, “We’re getting some reports about restaurants that are essentially turning into bars later at night,” with more mingling and less social distancing.

Cooper added that Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) and the Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) Commission would have the authority to enforce the Order and potentially revoke liquor licenses. Cooper characterized the alcohol curfew as part of an effort to “double down” on efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19, efforts that may be starting to show some success.

Stating that “some of our metrics are showing early signs of stabilizing,” North Carolina Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen talked about some of the key trends monitoring the virus’ trajectory in the state at the briefing. The number of individuals showing up in emergency rooms with COVID-like symptoms, an early indicator of possible infections, has starting  to level in the past two weeks, she said, adding that the number lab-reported COVID-19 cases is also “leveling in the past fourteen days.” The percentage of positive tests out of all COVID-19 tests administered, while still higher than the desired 5% goal, has also dropped recently from about 10% to about 8%.

The one notable outlier in these somewhat encouraging trends is the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state — and a new record high was reported on July 28 with 1,244 people in the hospital. But Cohen characterized that as a “lagging indicator,” meaning hospitalizations follow infection by days, if not by several weeks. She also indicated that the state still has “capacity” for more patients in its hospitals.

While generally expressing a cautious wait-and-see attitude toward the stabilizing numbers, Cohen asserted that she did “see a direct correlation [between that stabilization] and the start of the statewide mask requirement in June.” Cooper announced that face covering mandate on June 24.


Today’s NC coronavirus numbers – July 28

What’s new today: Record number of hospitalizations reported. (See most recent Today’s NC coronavirus numbers for interactive charts)

  • Reported NC cases – 116,087 (up 1,749 from yesterday)
  • Reported NC deaths – 1,820
  • Currently hospitalized – 1,244
  • Suspected COVID-19 cases hospitalized in past 24 hours – 323 (up 8 from yesterday)
  • Confirmed COVID-19 case hospitalized in past 24 hours – 110 (down 4 from yesterday)
  • Adults in ICU with COVID-19 – 364 (up 12 from yesterday)
  • Patients presumed to be recovered – 92,302
  • NC county with most cases– Mecklenburg (19,707)
  • Reported cases in Dare, Currituck and Hyde Counties – 437 (Dare 331, Currituck 69, Hyde 37)
  • Completed tests – 1,663,540
  • % of cases by age group – 0-17 (11%), 18-24 (14%), 25-49 (44%), 50-64 (19%), 65+ (11%)
  • % of cases by gender – female (52%), male (48%)
  • Number of cases in NC congregate living facilities (nursing homes, residential care facilities, jails) – 10,721

Note: Every morning, the NC Department of Health and Human Services posts updates o number of reported cases of coronavirus. That number reflects positive results from all tests, including the NC State Laboratory of Public Health and all hospital and commercial labs. There may be other reports, from the media and elsewhere, that will include different numbers during a given day, but this is an effective way of tracking numbers from the same source on a day-to-day basis.


Link to COVID-19 North Carolina Dashboard


  • Dethrol

    What a joke this fool is. Because, you know, the virus is less dangerous before 11:00 p.m. and is especially attracted to those drinking alcohol after 11:00 p.m. I’m relieved that I’m safe before 11:00 p.m. doing whatever I want and after 11:00 p.m. I’m golden, as long as all I’m doing is drinking sweet tea. So if you chug a half bottle of bourbon at 10:45, you’ll be fine…. What scientific basis is there for this kind of cherry-picking? When will people get that all the good guv wants to do is impose more and more restrictions on free people.

    Tuesday, Jul 28 @ 6:50 pm
  • anotherobxman

    Do what is needed Mr. Cooper, take the restaurants back to take out only.

    Tuesday, Jul 28 @ 7:46 pm
  • Right Hook

    Typical liberalism; symbolism over substance. When Cooper ‘closed bars’ bars in restaurants were not included in the closure. Bars that were not restaurants began serving food. Since all bars tend to be where people congregate w/out social distancing, all bars should have been closed. So now congregating in restaurant bars before 11PM is less risky than after 11PM. DUH!

    Wednesday, Jul 29 @ 8:57 am
  • kat

    HAHA. i know who will be voted out this election. Ive seen so many polls- VOTE HIM OUT! this is a damn joke! WE ARE NOT PUPPETS. We ARE NOT PART OF YOUR AGENDA. Look at the numbers people. Yes, theres a virus. You know what kills more people than this? DRUGS, CANCER, FLU, OTHER VIRUSES. now that the white house has gotten statistics, guess what numbers have went so far down its crazy. the survival rate is now at 99.6% AND IF MASKS WORKS SO DAMN WELL, Y SHUT EVERYTHING DOWN? O THATS RIGHT..ALL THIS IS BULL! come on. Even front line nurses are speaking out and saying all of this now. WAKE UP.

    Wednesday, Jul 29 @ 10:37 am
  • Karen Taylor

    I am so thankful for Governor Cooper, a Democrat who is doing everything he can to battle this very dangerous virus. I honestly think we need to go back to a complete lockdown until December so we can show the country how great North Carolina is. People are terrified about this virus and going outside is so dangerous and risky. People are dying left and right in North Carolina!

    Wednesday, Jul 29 @ 11:51 am
  • BrookeFieldsNC919

    I agree because this virus is not stopping and our numbers are astounding in NC. IT IS SO BAD PEOPLE, OPEN YOUR EYES. I would honestly support a new stay at home order and closing the malls and beaches until January. Also restaurants need to be takeout only because sitting inside a restaurant is killing people at alarming rates. 500 children have died in NC from this unforgiving virus and all of the hospitals in the state are at full capacity with coronavirus patients. It is extremely sad but it is true.

    Wednesday, Jul 29 @ 11:57 am
  • Louise

    Agreed, anotherobxman. This is getting out of hand. Phase one…

    Wednesday, Jul 29 @ 12:11 pm
  • OhioBricker

    I guess we’re still doing the delusional nonsense thing where people think this is all just a ploy to take away freedom.

    Wednesday, Jul 29 @ 12:54 pm
  • Frank C

    Dems are seeing how many sheep are out there! Man up lockdown is a joke,

    Wednesday, Jul 29 @ 6:45 pm
  • Grandyguy

    Cooper is the typical Liberal coward.
    I for one didn’t vote for him last time & sure as hell won’t next time either!

    Wednesday, Aug 5 @ 5:03 pm