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COVID-19 fears trigger limiting of alcohol sales
Saturday, 01 August 2020 15:04

From Staff Reports

RALEIGH — Given that actions to slow the spread of COVID-19 are beginning to have impact, Gov. Roy Cooper announced July 28 that he is “doubling down on prevention measures” with Executive Order 153 stopping the sale of alcoholic drinks in restaurants, breweries, wineries, and distilleries at 11 nightly.

“North Carolina bars that are currently closed will remain closed,” the governor’s press release stated. “This order will take effect Friday, July 31.”

Cooper said in the release, “Slowing the spread of this virus requires targeted strategies that help lower the risk of transmission. This will be particularly important as colleges and universities are scheduled to start, bringing people all over the country to our state. We have seen case numbers increase among younger people, and prevention is critical to slowing the spread of the virus.”

The order will not apply to grocery stores, convenience stores or other entities permitted to sell alcohol for off-premises consumption, the release stated. “Local governments that have implemented orders that end alcohol sales before 11 p.m., or that apply to other entities, remain in effect.”

Also on July 28, NC DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen gave an update on North Carolina’s data trends. She explained that while North Carolina’s numbers appear to be stabilizing, officials need more time to watch the data and current levels of cases and hospitalizations remain high.

“Seeing glimmers of potential progress does not mean we can let up — it means it’s time to double down,” said Dr. Cohen “The positive signs in our trends should only strengthen our resolve to keep at it with those 3 Ws – wear a face covering, wait 6 feet apart, and wash your hands often.”

She also provided the following metrics:

(1) Trajectory in COVID-like illness surveillance over 14 days

• North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is starting to level.

(2) Trajectory of lab-confirmed cases over 14 days

North Carolina’s trajectory of lab-confirmed cases is leveling, but is still high.

(3) Trajectory in percent of tests teturning positive over 14 days:

• North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive is declining, but still above 5 percent.

(4) Trajectory in hospitalizations vver 14 days:

• North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations is increasing, but the state still has hospital capacity.

In addition to the aforementioned metrics, the state continues building capacity to be able to adequately respond to an increase in virus spread, Dr. Cohen noted.These areas include:

(1) Laboratory testing:

• North Carolina averaged 29,000 tests per day last week (July 19-25). However, concerns remain about testing turnaround times, supply chain issues and the need for federal support.

(2) Tracing capability:

• North Carolina continues hiring contact tracers to bolster the efforts of our local health departments.

(3) Personal protective equipment:

• Our personal protective equipment supplies are stable.



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