• 37°

North Carolina to remain in phase 3

Indoor gatherings lowered to 10 people 

POLK COUNTY—North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced this week the state is lowering its indoor gatherings to 10 people and remaining in phase 3 of the reopening, to help slow the spread of COVID-19. 

The announcement comes just weeks from Thanksgiving. 

Cooper announced the executive order on Tuesday that went into effect on Friday. 

Executive order 176 will be in place until Dec. 4. 

“This reduction in our indoor gathering limit aims to slow the spread and bring down our numbers,” 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.” 

The order does not change the reduced capacity for certain businesses that have already been laid out, according to state officials. 

Gov. Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen also stressed the need for people to wear masks whenever they gather with people outside of their immediate household. 

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

Cooper also announced this week that full-service restaurants are eligible for assistance through the Mortgage, Utility and Rent Relief Program administered through the North Carolina Department of Commerce. 

Restaurants may apply for up to 4 months of rent or mortgage interest capped at $20,000. To learn more about the assistance or to apply, people can visit www.nccommerce.com/murr