Gov. Cooper extends stay-home order amid ‘Reopen N.C.’ protests

Coronavirus+Update%3A+Gov.+Cooper+extends+stay-home+order+amid+%27Reopen+N.C.%27+protests.+Graphic+by+Lauren+Wessell%2C+picture+by+Caitlyn+Dark.

Coronavirus Update: Gov. Cooper extends stay-home order amid 'Reopen N.C.' protests. Graphic by Lauren Wessell, picture by Caitlyn Dark.

Caitlyn Dark, News Editor

Raleigh, N.C. — Social distancing is set to continue for residents of North Carolina. On April 23, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced he was extending the current stay-at-home order previously issued that began on March 30.

The previous stay-at-home order was set to expire today, April 29. However, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the state continues to climb, Gov. Cooper made the executive decision to extend the current stay-home order for two more weeks.

This extension comes on the heels of scattered waves of protests across the country for the current restrictions to be ended even as the rate of COVID-19 infection numbers continue to climb. Many who participate in these protests believe that these pandemic safety measures violate their civil liberties and represent unreasonable levels of government overreach.

Such action has even allegedly been supported by President Donald Trump, who tweeted in support of “liberating” Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia just a day after he announced that only state governors had the power to lift pandemic-related restrictions.

Closer to home, a movement called “Reopen N.C.” has recently been leading protests for the state to end closures of businesses deemed non-essential. However, Reopen N.C. may face a stumbling block as one of the Facebook group’s administrators recently came forward to announce she had tested positive for COVID-19 and recently ended a 14-day quarantine as of Monday.

As a measure to help an already tense population feel more at ease, with the extension notice Gov. Cooper also released his current plan to gradually ease the restrictions and reopen the state. The plan would allow some business and public areas to reopen, followed by the lifting of the stay-at-home order and ban on semi-large gatherings a few weeks later if “certain goals” are met.

As of April 28, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in North Carolina is placed at 9,739 and the number of deaths linked to the virus was last reported at 361. The United States as a whole counts nearly a million confirmed cases and over 56,000 deaths.