Cooper strongly discourages gatherings of more than 100 people

Published 6:01 pm Thursday, March 12, 2020

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During a press conference Thursday afternoon, Gov. Roy Cooper discouraged gatherings of more than 100 people as a response to the outbreak of coronavirus.

“Starting tomorrow, we advise postponing or canceling any gatherings over 100 people,” he said, including “conferences, assemblies, sporting events, concerts, worship services and other gatherings.”

Cooper also recommended sick people to stay home, employees to allow people to work remotely from home if at all possible and for people to avoid visiting long-term care facilities. People at high risk for possible infections (senior citizens, those with underlying health conditions and weekend immune systems) are also encouraged to stay home.

He mentioned North Carolina has the benefit of learning from other countries and states about the best ways to combat the virus.

“We know that if we slow the spread of the virus now, that fewer people become affected or become seriously ill,” he said. “And we can be more effective in avoiding an overload of our medical system. It will save lives.”

Cooper’s news conference comes after three cases of people testing presumptively positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, were reported in Mecklenburg County Thursday, the first such confirmed cases in the region.

The first case in Cabarrus County was reported later Thursday. The person has symptoms of COVID-19 after international travel, according to the Cabarrus Health Alliance.

So far there are no confirmed cases in Stanly County.

There are currently 15 positive cases in North Carolina, according to a press release sent out by Cooper. The number is expected to grow.

As of Friday morning, the virus has infected more than 135,000 people and killed almost 5,000, according to the New York Times, which has been keeping track of all cases. There have been at least 1,660 known cases in the United States including 41 deaths.

On Tuesday, Cooper declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus spread.

Contact reporter Chris Miller at 704-982-2122.


About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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