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North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper along with NC Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen, speak at a news conference to give COVID-19 updates for the state.

With substantial growth in the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases across North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper announced that the state will enter a modified stay-at-home order overnight from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

“So, today, I am announcing new action to slow the spread. Effective Friday, December 11th, North Carolina will enter into a modified Stay at Home order,” Cooper said. “This order will require people to stay at home between the hours of 10 PM and 5 AM. It means just what it says: people are to stay at home between those hours.”

Cooper said the reason for the overnight mandate is to help limit some of the additional gatherings that are happening late at night, particularly at bars and clubs. (Read the FAQ’s about the order here.)

“The Order requires restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, personal care businesses and more to close at 10 pm,” a release from the State said. “Travel to and from work; to obtain food, medical care, fuel or social services; or to take care of a family member is exempted.”

The trajectory of positive cases in the state is at its highest levels ever, North Carolina Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen said. Additionally, the percent of tests that are positive have gone above 10 percent, despite a large increase in testing, Cohen said. Hospitalizations across North Carolina related to COVID-19 are also at the highest numbers yet, but the state is still able to manage capacity.

“A month ago, we were deeply concerned to see daily case counts go above 3,000,” Cooper said. “Now, we’re shocked that the number has doubled, with some daily counts at more than 6,000.”

The new county alert map shows that nearly half of the counties in the state are at critical levels of viral spread, doubling the amounts since last week. Over 80 percent of North Carolina’s counties have substantial or critical spread. This includes all of the counties in the greater Fayetteville area.

Cooper said additional measures could be implemented if things don’t get better quickly.

“We’ll do more if our trends don’t improve,” Cooper said. “That could mean additional actions involving indoor restaurant dining, entertainment facilities or retail capacity. None of us want that.”

Vaccines will soon be available at 11 hospitals in North Carolina, including Cape Fear Valley Health System. These first batches of vaccines will be reserved for high-risk health-care workers. Dr. Cohen said the 11 hospitals will have the original batches of the vaccine, ready for immediate distribution once the FDA approves administration of the vaccines.

 

Brandon Plotnick is a former sports journalist, now living in the digital space with interests all over the musical and pop culture map.