After moving to Phase 2, North Carolina saw its most significant single-day increase in positive cases of the coronavirus on Saturday. According to CNN, 1,107 additional cases poured in that day, pushing the number of total patients infected with COVID-19 over 22,000 at the time.
The second phase of North Carolina’s reopening plan officially lifted the stay-at-home order. Restaurants are allowed to have dine-in options, swimming pools can operate at 50% capacity, gatherings can include 10 indoors and 25 outdoors, and grooming and personal care businesses can open under a 50% capacity limit. Governor Roy Cooper said that just because some restrictions have been lessened, it “doesn’t mean you should” go out during his press conference on Friday. North Carolina will find itself in this phase until at least June 26 after spending two weeks in the first phase.
NC moved into Phase 2 of lifting #COVID19 restrictions at 5 p.m. Friday, May 22. Phase 2 runs through at least Friday, June 26, unless changed or canceled. For a quick reference guide about the differences in Phases 1 and 2 go to: https://t.co/1REXPNY3qX #StayStrongNC pic.twitter.com/GQgyp06aUZ— NCDHHS (@ncdhhs) May 23, 2020
As of Monday evening, the state is now at 23,964 positive cases of COVID-19 with 742 new additions on Memorial Day. The number of those infected who are now in a hospital also reached a high. The rise in positive cases isn’t the only issue for Cooper and his state, as he is currently in a dispute with President Donald Trump.
I have zero interest in moving the Republican National Convention to Doral in Miami, as falsely reported by the Fake News @nytimes in order to stir up trouble. Ballroom is not nearly big enough & would like to stay in N.C., whose gov. doesn’t even know if he can let people in? https://t.co/nqBBPv4VXS— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 25, 2020
On Monday, Trump didn’t hold back his feelings on how Cooper is handling the pandemic. With North Carolina easing in at a slower pace than others, Trump let it be known that if the Republican National Convention in August, which will be held in Charlotte, can not host a full capacity crowd, the whole event could be moved. Trump added he doesn’t want to move it from the state, but he will need a “guarantee” from Cooper that the arena will be allowed to operate at 100% capacity. He voiced his concerns in a series of tweets, with one explaining that “we would be spending millions of dollars building the Arena to a very high standard without even knowing if the Democrat Governor would allow the Republican Party to fully occupy the space.”