State Watch

NC reduces indoor gathering limit to 10 to curb coronavirus spread

Stefani Reynolds

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) signed an executive order Tuesday to reduce the number of people who can gather indoors to 10 people, down from 25, in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The change comes as the state reported an increase in infections, adding 2,582 new cases since Monday, bringing its cumulative total to 297,442 cases.

More than 4,660 have died in the state since the pandemic began. 

“This reduction in our indoor gathering limit aims to slow the spread and bring down our numbers,”  Cooper said at a press conference. “It also sends a serious signal to families, friends and neighbors across our state.”

The executive order went into effect Tuesday and will remain in effect until Dec. 4. The order doesn’t apply to restaurants, gyms, museums, theaters, conference centers or other venues that are subject to other guidelines.

Experts have long warned that cases would rise across the country in the fall and winter as the cooler weather forces many people to remain indoors. Cooper said the state saw an increase in spread from social gatherings in October.  

“The science shows that the transmission of this virus is much greater indoors,” Cooper said. “And the more people who are gathered, the easier this virus can spread.”  

The governor said the state would be paused in its phase three coronavirus restrictions, under which indoor meeting spaces are subject to reduced capacity limits. In addition, outdoor facilities that can hold more than 10,000 people can remain open at 7 percent of their total seating capacity. 

The U.S. became the first country to surpass 10 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Monday, according to a count from The Washington Post, a grim milestone that came ahead of an expected surge in the coming months. 

Tags Coronavirus COVID19 North Carolina Roy Cooper
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