NC lifts modified stay at home order

Veronica Wernicke, News Editor

In response to increased state-wide vaccination efforts, North Carolina governor Roy Cooper announced this week that he would be loosening some of the state’s current coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions

Executive order 195, which goes in effect on Feb. 26 at 5 p.m, will last until March 26 at 5 p.m. and lifts the current modified stay at home order. This means people can now stay out past 10 p.m and it also allows business to remain open to the public later.

“Today’s action is a show of confidence and trust, but we must remain cautious. People are losing their loved ones each day,” said Governor Cooper. “We must keep up our guard. Many of us are weary, but we cannot let the weariness win. Now is the time to put our strength and resilience to work so that we can continue to turn the corner and get through this.”

In addition, several other items have been shifted. 

Businesses like restaurants, retailers, gyms and breweries can now operate with 50% capacity. Meanwhile, bars, movie theaters, lounges and venues can operate up to 30% capacity. Alcohol can also now be sold on-site until 11 p.m.

Indoor gatherings can now be up to 25 people and outdoor remains at 50. 

However, according to Larry Wray, executive director of campus life, UNC Wilmington (UNCW) will continue to operate under the 10/25 indoor and outdoor limits. This is due to the fact that the order allows universities to take a more conservitive approach. There are discussions underway reviewing these restrictions and whether or not they want to adjust them. 

Additionally, student organization travel and spending restrictions remain the same.

People are still required to wear masks and wait six feet apart, especially in indoor public spaces.  

“Keep wearing a mask, waiting 6 feet apart and washing your hands. We’ve seen in the past how fragile progress can be, so we need to keep protecting each other while we get everyone a spot to get their shot,” said North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D.

In addition, Cohen noted that trends in the past 14 days related to COVID-like illness (CLI), confirmed cases, percent of tests returning positive and hospitalizations are decreasing. 

To see more specifics about the order you can visit their FAQs page.