North Carolina to allow outdoor church services, governor says

Virus Outbreak North Carolina

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper gives an update on the coronavirus and phase one of reopening the state’s economy during a press briefing, Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at the Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh, N.C. (Robert Willett/The News & Observer via AP)

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday that he is honoring people’s First Amendment rights to freedom of religion and has given permission for outside services of more than 10 people if there is social distancing.

“What we’re hoping is that ministers and church leaders will put the health of their congregations at the head of their thinking in consideration of each other, realizing that it is still dangerous to hold indoor services,” Cooper said.
Where the state stands: North Carolina started its first phase of reopening on May 8 — the same day the stay-at-home order expired.

Retail stores where allowed can expand capacity to 50%. Child care facilities opened for children of working parents or those looking for work and gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed outdoors.


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