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Legal Alert

North Carolina Announces Three-Phase Plan to Reopen


With North Carolina’s Stay at Home order extended through May 8, 2020, leaders focus on testing, tracing, and trends to determine when to re-open the state’s economy. Recognizing that North Carolinians can’t stay home forever, the state’s governor announced a three-phase plan to ease COVID-19 restrictions.

The Basics

The state continues to increase its capacity to combat the virus by increasing laboratory testing, increasing tracing capacity, and increasing availability of personal protective equipment. Before lifting restrictions, North Carolina needs to see improvement in:

Once trends show that it is safe to open the economy, North Carolina will gradually re-open in three phases.

Phase 1

Phase 1 of the plan includes:

Phase 1 of the Plan specifically permits localities with more restrictive emergency orders to continue the stricter measures.

Phase 2

Phase 2 may begin, at the earliest, two to three weeks after Phase 1, and includes:

Phase 3

Phase 3 may begin, at the earliest, four to six weeks after Phase 2, and includes:

 What Does This Mean For Employers?

Businesses eager to re-open should ensure compliance with any applicable Phase requirement. For example, retailers allowed to open during Phase 1 must implement and follow social distancing requirements within their stores, adopt enhanced hygiene and cleaning protocols, screen employees, provide necessary accommodations, and educate employees to combat misinformation. Restaurants and bars permitted to open during Phase 2 must ensure they comply with applicable safety protocols and any necessary capacity reductions.

We will continue to monitor this rapidly developing situation and provide updates as appropriate. Make sure you are subscribed to Fisher Phillips’ alert system to gather the most up-to-date information. For further information or advice on how to satisfy notice requirements as an employer, contact your Fisher Phillips attorney or any attorney in our Charlotte office, or any member of our Post Pandemic Strategy Group Roster. You can also review our FP BEYOND THE CURVE: Post-Pandemic Back-To-Business FAQs For Employers and our FP Resource Center for Employers.

This Legal Alert provides an overview of a specific state law. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for any particular fact situation.

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