NC Governor Sends Message Of Encouragement To Graduates

D'Ann Lawrence White

NORTH CAROLINA — As North Carolina entered the first weekend of its modified stay-at-home order, Gov. Roy Cooper offered words of encouragement to high school seniors who won't have a chance to participate in a traditional graduation ceremony.

"I know it’s hard for many of you not to be able to walk across the stage in front of a crowd to get your degree," he said in a statement on state social media sites. "But don’t let this crisis crush your dreams. You’re resilient. You’re ready. And your state needs you to do great things."

Eased stay-at-home restrictions went into effect Friday at 5 p.m. They include opening the capacity of retail businesses from 20 percent to 50 percent capacity; opening child-care centers for unemployed residents who are looking for work; and encouraging residents to get outdoors and enjoy hiking and jogging at state parks and trails.

Bars and restaurants are still restricted to takeout and delivery, and personal care services, theaters and music venues, gyms and playgrounds remain closed.

Cooper said North Carolina is taking a three-phased approach to lifting the coronavirus restrictions. He said implementation of the following two phases will be based on data from testing, tracing and trends along with consultation with members of the business community.

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As of Saturday, the NC DHHS reported 14,360 confirmed cases of the coronavirus with 513 hospitalized and 544 deaths.

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This article originally appeared on the Across North Carolina Patch