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North Carolina to remain in Phase 2 for another five weeks

On Wednesday, August 5, Governor Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina will remain paused in Safer At Home Phase 2 for another five weeks as students and staff return to schools, colleges and universities.

“Other states that lifted restrictions quickly have had to go backward as their hospital capacity ran dangerously low and their cases jumped higher. We will not make that mistake in North Carolina,” said Cooper. “In keeping with our dimmer switch approach with schools opening, and in order to push for decreasing numbers which will keep people healthier and boost our economy, North Carolina will remain paused in Safer At Home Phase 2 for 5 weeks.”

Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, shared an update on North Carolina’s data trends. Cohen explained that while some of North Carolina’s numbers have mostly leveled, any progress is fragile as other states have shown with sudden surges in viral spread.

“While overall we are seeing signs of stability, we still have much work to do. Our recent trends show us what is possible when we commit to slowing the spread by wearing face coverings and following those simple but powerful 3Ws,” said Cohen.

The metrics that North Carolina follows were explained by Cohen during the media conference. For example, lab-confirmed cases have stabilized but remain high and North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive is stable but still elevated.

While testing turnaround times have improved, the number of tests done has decreased over the past week. Testing is a priority for anyone who has symptoms or those who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

The state continues hiring contact tracers to bolster the efforts of local health departments. Now, over 1,500 full-time and part-time staff support contact tracing efforts, including the 615 Community Care of North Carolina contact tracers.

The state’s supply of personal protective equipment is stable.

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