North Carolina reported an increase of 1,107 cases of coronavirus as the state began reopening in Phase 2 Saturday.
The state has 22,725 cases of coronavirus with 737 deaths as of Saturday morning, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services indicated. There were 21,618 cases and 737 deaths as of Friday morning. Overall, 329,582 tests have been completed with 589 people currently hospitalized.
Iredell County has 219 cases, the state reported. The Iredell County Health Department updates the total number of cases in the county, by region, Monday through Friday. There have been six deaths in Iredell, the county reported.
Among neighboring counties, as of Saturday morning’s report, Mecklenburg leads the state with 3,142 cases. It has 73 reported deaths.
Cabarrus County has 428 cases and 21 reported deaths, though the total does not include a Virginia resident who died in the county. Rowan has 603 cases and 25 deaths.
Catawba has 142 cases and three deaths. Davie has 67 cases and two deaths. Lincoln has 58 cases. Yadkin has 131 cases and one death. Wilkes has 472 cases and three deaths. Alexander has 27 cases.
Across the state, 43 percent of the cases are in those aged 25 to 49. Twenty-three percent are among those 50-64, 10 percent among those 75 and older, 9 percent among both those 65-74 and those 18-24 and 5 percent among those 0-17. Fifty-one percent of the cases are in females.
Gov. Roy Cooper announced earlier this week that restaurants, barber shops and salons welcome patrons inside starting last Friday evening. Bars, gyms and indoor entertainment venues will remain closed five more weeks.
Two weeks ago, Cooper allowed more businesses to open, provided they limit entry largely to 50% of their fire code capacity. Cooper said Wednesday he now feels comfortable about the virus data to lift the stay-at-home order and extend partial openings starting Friday afternoon for dine-in eating at restaurants and for personal care services such as barbers. Pools also can reopened with reduced numbers of swimmers.
But Cooper said he didn’t feel good enough about the trends to reopen public playgrounds, movie theaters, fitness centers and other entertainment locales that he suggested he could do in the second phase when first unveiled a month ago. Under the order, they’ll have to remain closed until at least June 26.
For weeks, restaurants have been allowed to only offer takeout and delivery, while the personal care businesses were shut down fully. The restaurants, salons and other soon-to-be-reopened businesses will be subject to social distancing and cleaning requirements. Employees in some industries will have to wear face coverings.
While mass gatherings at outdoor venues will now be capped at 25 people, it remains at 10 people when people gather indoors. These restrictions don’t apply to churches — a federal judge struck down Cooper’s previous limits on indoor worship services last weekend. But congregations are urged to comply with social distancing rules.
Cooper and Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen have said they were evaluating the science and data before making any decisions.
“What we have done successfully is to flatten the curve,” Cohen said. “And that’s what we want to continue to do.”