As the North Carolina General Assembly passes a bill allowing bars to open outdoor seating, the number of Covid 19 hospitalizations in the state is at an all-time high. And that has Governor Roy Cooper pushing back at the notion of opening more and opening sooner.
State officials are watching four metrics closely to see what kind of effect Phase 2 is having on the spread of Covid-19.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper says all these metrics have their limitations, and it’s why his team makes decisions based on the whole picture and why reopening the state is taking place gradually.
"Yes, we are concerned about the higher rate of hospitalizations. We do know that our hospitals can surge their beds in order to get ready for a surge of Covid-19."
But it’s also why the Governor says he opposes the legislation passed by the General Assembly that would allow bars to open in some capacity.
"We have been successful in flattening the curve and that’s why we felt it was positive to go into Phase 2, but we didn’t want to go and open everything back up for concern of numbers going up in a quick way. This is why bars were closed."
Cooper also says the legislation prevents local governments from making their own decisions about Coronavirus restrictions. He says this would take flexibility away from cities that have become Covid-19 hotspots.