Cooper moves NC into “Safer-at-Home” Phase 2.5 

By on September 1, 2020

Gyms can open at 30% capacity, bars still closed

Gov. Roy Cooper

Stating that “we’re encouraged, but cautious” about stabilizing and declining trends in the state’s COVID-19 trajectory, Governor Roy Cooper announced on Sept. 1 that North Carolina was moving into a “Safer-at-Home” Phase 2.5 easing of restrictions on Friday, Sept. 4.

The state had been in its current “Safer-at-Home” Phase 2 of opening since May 22.

Under the easing of restrictions announced today, the limits on mass indoor gatherings will increase from 10 to 25 and will move up from 25 to 50 people outdoors. Playgrounds may now open. Museums and aquariums can open at 50% capacity.  And gyms and other indoor exercise facilities are now allowed to operate at 30% capacity.

However, some businesses will continue to remain closed, such as bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, indoor entertainment venues and amusement parks.  And on Aug. 31, Cooper signed an Executive Order maintaining the ban against restaurants selling alcohol after 11 p.m. until Oct. 2

Both Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Secretary Mandy Cohen expressed satisfaction with the stabilizing COVID-19 numbers, but expressed continuing caution.

“Stability isn’t victory,” noted Cooper, who made the announcement easing some restrictions on the same day that the state reported 2,111 new cases, the highest number of new daily cases reported since the end of July.

More to follow on this story.


  • Dethrol

    “Take the permissions that I grant, be grateful and begone with you peasants”. Excuse me now while I have someone move the goalposts again: 15 days to slow the spread, flatten the curve, until we see how the fall weather and seasonal flu impacts our situation, until we get a vaccine….. And, while all this is happening and providing great cover, the good guv is suing the North Carolina Rules Review Commission, a panel created by the state legislature to prevent executive overreach. It does this by scrutinizing “rules” proposed by the Governor’s Office or other executive branch agencies to ensure they don’t circumvent state law or the constitution. The good guv thinks he should have supreme power, you know, like the king that he thinks he is…

    Tuesday, Sep 1 @ 4:23 pm
  • Joe

    Big surprise! Phase 2.5. Got 10 bucks says the next phase is 2.75!

    Tuesday, Sep 1 @ 7:35 pm
  • Skeeter McClusky

    From the reality I see, it should be renamed:
    “Safer at Walmart.”
    Or “Safer with mega-tourism”
    Or “Safer at Home Depot”

    Wednesday, Sep 2 @ 8:10 am