She said the state is monitoring COVID-like syndromic cases, lab-confirmed cases, positive tests as a percentage of total tests and number of hospitalizations over a 14 day time period. There have been 253 deaths in the state. The state lifts the Stay-at-Home Order, although "vulnerable populations" are still encouraged to stay home. "We know these actions save lives". "Now we know what's needed to transition out of the restrictions and what a new normal will look like".
Increase in Laboratory Testing. "We haven't seen that become a trend but it's a good early sign".
"I have every confidence that we will find a way to get schools open safely in the new school year", Cooper said.
The state must meet certain benchmarks in order to enter a three-phase process of incrementally relaxing the restrictions.
"This plan is a first step, and while it may not have all that North Carolina needs moving forward I present it in the spirit of compromise and consensus so that we can get relief to families fast", said Cooper.
"North Carolinians are tough". This decision is based on data that we can see in our critical categories.
Cooper said the next academic year will not be "business as usual" and that the pandemic will be with the state's residents for a long time.
He said the issue requires further discussion among health officials and NASCAR teams around the Charlotte area.
Abiding By The Stay At Home Order - If we as a community, abide by the stay at home order, it could possibly significantly reduce the number of new cases our community, our state is having.
First Warning Forecast: Next round of storms Saturday night to Sunday
That will be the case Thursday too, however it is possible that we see a few isolated, weak thunderstorms Thursday afternoon. While severe weather is not expected, small hail and a few rumbles of thunder are possible in addition to brief heavy rain.
Retailers will still be required to implement social distancing and other increased hygiene and cleaning protocols. He also said they would need to screen their employees for symptoms. And his plan by which businesses could reopen and mass gathering limits eased if epidemiological and supply goals are met would not be fully achieved until mid-June at the earliest.
Parks will be able to open while still being subject to gathering restrictions.
Teleworking will still be encouraged.
This means the social distancing measures in place since March 30 will continue.
Phase I: The stay-at-home order would remain in place, but residents would be allowed more reasons to leave home. "This virus is still going to be with us so we have to be extra careful".
Governor Cooper also shared information about how North Carolina can gradually re-open over three phases to prevent hot spots of viral spread while also beginning to bring our economy back. Specifically, the order bans gatherings of more than 10 people and directs everyone to physically stay at least six feet apart from others. "In this phase, the guidance for vulnerable populations, those at risk, they will continue to loosen". Those include the mandated closures of restaurants for dine-in service and bars, along with the closure of other close-contact businesses.
Gatherings allowed at religious facilities and entertainment venues.
Continue rigorous restrictions on nursing homes and other congregant care settings.
After what he called a "thorough analysis of the details of testing, tracing, and trends", and having conversations with Trump Administration officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci, Cooper said "it's clear that we are on the right path but that our state is not ready to lift restrictions yet".