Cooper eases North Carolina’s COVID-19 restrictions

Veronica Wernicke, News Editor

During a recent press conference, Cooper announced that effective March 26 at 5 p.m. he would be easing some of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions through Executive Order 204

Previous restrictions that will be lifted include the on-site curfew of alcohol sales for bars, restaurants and breweries/wineries. Additionally, indoor capacity for gyms, pools, restaurants and breweries/wineries will be increased to 75% capacity. 

Indoor capacity for retailers, museums, aquariums and salons will move to 100% and up to 50% for event venues and sporting arenas/bars.

Indoor gathering limits have been increased to 50 people and outdoor to 100. Social distancing and mask guidelines still remain in place. 

This announcement comes as North Carolina continues to see a decrease in the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, hospitalizations and deaths, as more people get vaccinated.

“We are in a promising place. With North Carolina’s COVID-19 key metrics improving and vaccinations increasing, we can responsibly use our dimmer switch approach to easing restrictions guided by science and data,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D.

The state continues to see progress in vaccination efforts as over 4.1 million doses have been administered. 

“Over 31.7 percent of people 18 and up have received at least one dose, and 18.8 percent are fully vaccinated. Vaccine equity efforts remain a priority, with 18 percent of first doses administered to Black North Carolinians and 8 percent to members of the LatinX community last week,” as written in the press release

Meanwhile, in New Hanover County, over 57,994 people (24.7% of the population) have been partially vaccinated and over 40,447 people (17.3% of the population) are fully vaccinated.

Read additional information about the executive order here.