April 30, 2020 at 3:48 PM EDT – Updated May 1 at 2:35 PM
RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) – North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said Thursday that he is hopeful the state is moving towards re-opening next week as scheduled.
“We remain optimistic the trends will be stable enough to move us into phase one next week,” Governor Cooper said during a news conference in Raleigh.
NC Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen added Friday that more tests have been taken and the positive cases are decreasing, showing the state can likely move forward gradually.
According to Cohen, 38% of adults under 65 in North Carolina have an underlying condition, making them considered high-risk for COVID-19.
“We will have to work together to keep our neighbors safe,” Cohen explained, adding that it will continue to be important to social distance and wash hands frequently.
“We need keep up the actions that will slow the spread of the virus,” Cohen said. “The good news is that we know we can do this. If we stay home now to protect our loved ones and our communities, we can put ourselves on a path to begin easing restrictions and moving forward as planned.”
Phase one would continues many of the social distancing recommendations, but allow for a little more commercial activity.
The state updated the trends they are watching to make their determination. While new cases continues to come in, the positive tests compared to the overall number of tests is decreasing.
Cooper said they will look at the picture as a whole while determining the state’s ability to loosen up restrictions during the pandemic.
“I know this is a difficult time for many people, but there is hope and there is a plan,” Cooper said, adding the plan is based on science, data and facts.
As of today, the state’s stay at home order is expected to end at close of business on May 8.
“We need everyone to continue following the Stay At Home order right now so that we can move to the next phases of easing restrictions. Complacency could risk lives and undo these plans,” Cooper said.
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