RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Gov. Roy Cooper is expected to announce Wednesday whether North Carolina will move into Phase Three of the state’s reopening plan.
Phase Two, which was extended back in July, is set to end Friday evening. Cooper can either extend Phase Two again or choose to move on to a modified Phase Two plan or begin Phase Three.
The decision comes down to COVID-19 metrics across the state. While cases this week have been lower than previous weeks, deaths have been up, and after several days of drops in hospitalizations, Tuesday saw the largest day-to-day increase in hospitalizations since the pandemic began. The percent-positive rate of tests has been hovering in the 7-10-percent range.
Many business owners across North Carolina are anxiously awaiting Cooper’s decision to determine if they can reopen more fully – or in the case of some bars, taverns, and yoga studios – reopen at all for the first time since March.
The pandemic has been particularly tough on yoga studio owners and bars.
At The Hot Tin Roof in downtown Hillsborough, managing partner Mark Bateman said his business has lost $300,000 in revenue.
Right now they’re selling T-shirts in hopes of bringing in more money to help them stay afloat.
Glow Yoga NC owner Tiffany Prigden said she has lost 50-percent of her members since the pandemic forced her to close her studio.
Prigden said it’s now time that studios be allowed to reopen.
In the state’s current Phase Two reopening plan, capacity is limited at dine-in restaurants, salons, and barbershops. Cooper also signed an executive order banning alcohol sales at restaurants after 11 p.m. Gyms, bars, and yoga studios remain closed.
The governor is expected to make the announcement at 4 p.m. You can watch live on CBS17.com.