LEAK: Cooper Memo to Counties to Move Backward Amid COVID Spike, Tighter Lockdown Rules Returning?

RALEIGH – Governor Roy Cooper and Health Czar Mandy Cohen sent a memo to counties that implored the local jurisdictions to ratchet mass gathering restrictions back down, and move the curfew on alcohol sales to 9:00 PM. That’s according to a leak reported by Brett Jensen last week, but a COVID press briefing scheduled for Wednesday at 3:00 PM may reveal just how far backward the Cooper administration will shove North Carolinians in terms of lockdown.

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In the last five days, spikes in coronavirus cases in North Carolina and elsewhere have quickly led to a surge in Pandemic Panic and growing calls for going back into lockdown.

Jensen’s reporting points out that Cooper doesn’t want to take responsibility for such a regression, knowing that it may hurt him politically before the election, so he is begging the counties to do it for him.

North Carolina is supposed to remain in Phase 3 (at least that’s what they call it) until November 13. That meant gathering restrictions were the loosest they’ve been since spring — though not as relaxed as the original phase 3 of the reopening plan — and close enough to see normalcy, but not quite close enough to reach it.

Now, with less than a week to go before election day, the possibility of heading back into tighter lockdown restrictions, by command of the governor (or county health czars), is very real. The recommendations to the counties are about as strict as the Phase 1 lockdowns, enacted by unilateral decree, back in March.

We’ll know more, and bring it to you, after today’s at 3:00 PM press conference.

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