By Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice on September 22, 2020
Stating that, “I am pleased to report that North Carolina remains stable in our key metrics,” regarding the spread of COVID-19, Governor Roy Cooper said at a Sept. 22 press briefing that he plans to ease some re-opening restrictions on Friday, Oct. 2.
The governor said those plans include allowing large outdoor event venues with a capacity of more than 10,000 people to open at 7% of that capacity, noting that “we do believe outdoor events are safer than indoor events.”
Cooper also stated that, “I hope to ease some other restrictions” when the current Executive Order expires on Oct. 2, adding the caveat that any changes are contingent on the condition that “our numbers look good” at that point.
The governor last announced an easing of restrictions on Sept. 1, Increasing the limits on mass indoor gatherings from 10 to 25 people and on mass outdoor gatherings from 25 to 50 people. Playgrounds were allowed to open, museums and aquariums were given the go-ahead to open at 50% capacity, and gyms and other indoor exercise facilities were allowed to operate at 30% capacity.
The state also announced on Sept. 22 that it has launched a COVID-19 Exposure Notification app called “SlowCOVIDNC.” The app will help North Carolinians slow the spread of the virus by alerting them when they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. It is completely anonymous and does not collect, store or share personal information or location data.
SlowCOVIDNC, which leverages Google and Apple’s Exposure Notification System (ENS), alerts users who have the app if they have been in close contact with an individual who later tests positive for COVID-19. It is voluntary to download and use and designed to enhance the state’s existing contact tracing efforts. The app completed Beta testing earlier this month and can now be downloaded for free through the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. “SlowCOVIDNC is a powerful tool to help North Carolina control the spread of the virus,” said Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen at the Sept. 22 briefing.
The Dare County Department of Health and Human Services reported 3 new cases of COVID-19, including 1 new death, on Sept. 22. All three cases reported today involve males 65 years of age or older and one of them, a resident, has died as a result. Today’s count brings the total number of cases reported by Dare County since the outset of the pandemic to 520 and the number of COVID-19 deaths of county residents to 3.
(See today’s COVID-19 Update for NC interactive chart)
Note: Every morning, the NC Department of Health and Human Services posts updates the 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.
SOURCE: NC DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES