RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Feb. 24 a new executive order that eases restrictions and lifts the Stay-at-Home order curfew beginning Feb. 26.
"When it comes to easing some restrictions, we're depending on people to be responsible," Cooper said.
The new order allows gyms, museums, aquariums, barbers, pools, outdoor amusement parks, retail establishments, restaurants, breweries and wineries to now open at 50 percent capacity with health and safety protocols. Alcohol can now be sold until 11 p.m.
Mandy Cohen, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human services, said the the number of people who are going to the emergency department for COVID-19 like symptoms is decreasing. Cases have started to decline since the COVID-19 cases peaked in North Carolina on Jan. 10. Hospitalizations are also "significantly" better than when they were a month ago, Cohen said.
"North Carolina's trajectory of cases is decreasing, however cases remain elevated and with those new COVID-19 variants in the state we need to keep our guard up," Cohen said. "While we're improving since our peak in January, we still have more work to do."