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NC gov. extends Phase 3 of COVID-19 reopening, restricts gatherings back to 10

Gov. Roy Cooper announced North Carolina will remain paused in Stage 3 of reopening until at least Dec. 4 due to the rising number of new COVID-19 infections.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina's Governor, Roy Cooper, announced Tuesday that the state will remain paused in Phase 3 as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the state.

Cooper also announced that the indoor gathering limit will be adjusted down from 25 to 10 people. Executive Order 176 will go into effect on Friday, November 13 and will be in place through Friday, December 4.

"This reduction in our indoor gathering limit aims to slow the spread and bring down our numbers," Governor Cooper said. "It also sends a serious signal to families, friends and neighbors across our state. Success in slowing the spread will help our businesses."

Cooper said the science shows that the transmission of this virus is much greater indoors.

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"And the more people who are gathered, the easier this virus can spread. We saw increasing spread from social gatherings in October," Cooper said.

As of Tuesday in North Carolina the state has reported 297,442 total cases; 2,582 new cases reported since yesterday; 1,230 people in the hospital, and 4,660 deaths. 

"As the number of people lost to COVID increases, I know people are grieving, and I continue to think about them as we battle this virus," Cooper said. 

Governor Cooper and NC DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen also underscored the need for people to wear a mask anytime they gather with people outside of their immediate household. As the holiday season approaches, NCDHHS released health guidance to help people celebrate as safely as possible without spreading the virus. 

“Let’s keep our friends, family, and loved ones safe this holiday season. If you are going to travel or get together, plan ahead to reduce the risk to your family and friends,” said NCDHHS Secretary Cohen. “Remember, it’s not how well you know someone when it comes to wearing a mask. If they don’t live with you, get behind the mask.“