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Phase 2.5: Some COVID-19 restrictions to be lifted Friday

Because key metrics have stabilized and some are declining, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday afternoon that some restrictions will be relaxed and he is invoking Safe at Home 2.5 effective Friday, Sept. 4 at 5 p.m.

This new 2.5 phase means:

– Mass gatherings limits increase to 25 indoors and 50 people outdoors.

– Playgrounds can open.

– Museums and aquariums may open at 50% capacity.

– Gyms and indoor exercise places may open at 30% capacity.

– Remaining closed are bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, amusement parks, indoor entertainment facilities and dance halls.

– Large venues follow the mass gatherings limits.

A Secretarial Order issued by North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen allows for outdoor visitation at nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities, provided certain conditions are met. This order remains in effect through Sept. 22, 2020.

In Dare County, the total number of lab-confirmed positive cases is 459 as of 11:45 a.m., Sept. 1.

Of that total, Dare residents represent 245 cases, of which 230 have recovered and 16 remain active. Of those cases active, 14 are in home isolation and two are in isolation outside Dare County. No one is hospitalized.

In two days, Monday, Aug. 31 and Tuesday, Sept. 1, a dozen new cases were confirmed. Nine cases are non-residents.

Overall, non-residents represent 214 of the positive cases. Some 137 have recovered, two are in isolation in Dare County and 77 have transferred to home locations.

The Dare County update notes “This past week we saw an increase in the number of new positive cases as well as an increase in the percent of positive tests to total tests. We continue to see the majority of new cases linked to direct contact with individuals who have the virus. Close contact continues to be the predominant way we are seeing the virus spread.”

Cases in Hyde County have been inching upward.

On Tuesday, Sept. 1, lab-confirmed cases totaled 99 with 62 recoveries. Active cases number 37.

On Wednesday, Aug. 26, Luana C. Gibbs, Hyde County health director issued an update. “Though all age groups are affected, the majority of cases are white individuals within the age group of 25 to 49.”

She also repeated this invitation for tests. “Please remember, the Health Department tests anyone who suspects they are sick with COVID-19 or has been in contact with someone who has the virus. We also test folks who request testing even without symptoms.”

In Tyrrell County as of Aug. 31, cases numbered 109 with 103 recoveries and two deaths.

The Albemarle Regional Health Services issued the following information on Friday, Aug. 28:

Camden County had 93 lab-confirmed cases with 16 active and 74 recovered. Camden County has suffered three deaths.

Currituck County had 95 lab-confirmed cases, with 13 active and 82 recovered. No deaths have been recorded for Currituck County.

Pasquotank County had 532 lab-confirmed cases of which 432 have recovered and 76 remain active. The county has suffered 24 deaths.

In North Carolina, total number of lab-confirmed cases reached 169,424.

Hospitalizations are 946. The number of people in hospitals has hovered in the 900 range since Aug. 24. Across North Carolina, 2,741 individuals have died.

In moving to Safer at Home 2.5, the following information about metrics was shared:

North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness continues to decline.

North Carolina’s trajectory of lab-confirmed cases is stable.

North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive is stable.

North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations is declining.

“Although these numbers are still stable or declining, they remain high,” states a media release.

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