Local business owners react to NC’s spike in COVID cases

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – North Carolina is seeing record high numbers of COVID-19 cases.

The increase comes as Phase 3 of the state’s economic reopening is set to expire Friday.

North Carolina has been in Phase 3 since October 2.

Many business owners in Greenville think Governor Cooper will keep us in this phase longer because of the case spikes.

“I know we’re all tired of this,” said Governor Roy Cooper in a press conference last week. “It’s frustrating to feel confined and to do the things we need to do to slow the spread of the virus.”

Governor Cooper says the state’s COVID numbers are higher than he wants them to be.

Business owners say despite more cases, we’re not leaving Phase 3 anytime soon.

“I either see him staying where we’re at or reverting back to an earlier phase,” said Tony Frazier, owner of 5th Street Distillery.

A manager at Pitt Street Brewing Company agrees.

“As far as the restrictions go, I can’t imagine too much will change, especially right before Halloween,” said Maryann Ricks, taproom manager at Pitt Street.

Frazier says even if the governor adds restrictions, he won’t close his bar.

“They fooled us once by telling us it would be two weeks,” he said. “Six months later, fool me twice, shame on me. I will refuse to shut down my business again.”

Governor Cooper has not said whether he intends to return COVID restrictions, remove more of them or stick with the status quo.

There are no plans for any announcements from his office on Tuesday.

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