NC shifts to Phase 3


Veronica Wernicke, News Editor

On Sept. 29, Governor Roy Cooper announced a shift from the coronavirus (COVID-19) “Safer at Home” Phase 2.5 into “Safer at Home” Phase 3.

Under this new phase, which took effect on Oct. 2 and continues through Oct. 23, entertainment venues like amusement parks, movie theaters and bars can open up to limited capacity. 

“Large outdoor venues with seating greater than 10,000 may operate with 7% occupancy for spectators; Smaller outdoor entertainment venues, like arenas or amphitheaters, may operate outdoors at 30% of outdoor capacity, or 100 guests, whichever is less; Movie theaters and conference centers may open indoor spaces to 30% of capacity, or 100 guests, whichever is less; Bars may operate outdoors at 30% of outdoor capacity, or 100 guests, whichever is less and Amusement parks may open at 30% occupancy, outdoor attractions only,” per the executive order press release.    

In addition, outdoor gatherings will remain limited to 50 and indoor 25 people. The 11 pm alcohol sales curfew will also be extended until Oct. 23. 

“Our top priority remains getting children back to in-person learning. This month marks a major shift for many families now and in the coming months as schools open their doors, some for the first time since the pandemic,” said Governor Cooper in the press release. “The virus continues to spread, so we must take the next steps methodically, and responsibly.”

This announcement comes as the state release statewide no-cost testing and the COVID-19 tracing app, SlowCOVIDNC, which notifies users if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive. 

To read frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and specifically Phase 3, you can visit the City of Wilmington, NC Government FAQ document.