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‘The virus is with us’: Cooper extends restrictions for bars and gatherings

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'The virus is with us': Cooper extends restrictions for bars and gatherings

Gov. Roy Cooper listens as Mandy Cohen, the North Carolina secretary of health, speak during a briefing at the Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. (Ethan Hyman/The News & Observer via AP) That’s how long Gov. Roy Cooper said COVID-19 restrictions for some businesses — like gyms — will have to remain in place. Gatherings of people, too, will also continue to be severely limited.

The Democratic governor’s current executive order, which also mandates face coverings in public places, expires on Friday.

Now those restrictions will be extended until at least Sept. 11.

Cooper’s announcement wasn’t wholly unexpected. Since June, North Carolina has been reeling from a surge in coronavirus cases that almost seemed to coincide with the ending of a statewide quarantine.

Along the way, records were set in the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations — only to be broken. And broken again.

Still, there was hope — albeit faint — that Cooper would say Wednesday that more businesses could be opened fully and the state could return to some semblance of normalcy.

Not after Wednesday.For now, this is normal. This is life during a pandemic.A decision to maintain the status quo comes even as the governor and his top health official said case trends continue to stabilize, and even improve slightly in some areas, compared to a few weeks ago.Cooper’s new order is actually more of the same: Bars, gyms, movie theaters and amusement parks — places where people are usually in closer contact — will now be closed for nearly six straight months. Gatherings are still limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, with some […]

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