Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, along with other state officials, sent a letter to Gov. Roy Cooper on Tuesday urging him to hold a Council of State meeting to further discuss reopening the state's economy following coronavirus-related shutdowns.
The letter was co-signed by six Republican members of the North Carolina Council of State, including Forest, Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler, Commissioner of Insurance Mike Causey, Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry, Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson and Treasurer Dale Folwell.
“We all understand that shelter-in-place cannot exist forever,” the letter states. “With the rest of the Southeast, and the majority of our country, already providing structure and clarity to struggling businesses and workers, North Carolina is lagging in communication.”
Under Cooper's current executive order, the state will be in Phase 1 of coronavirus recovery until at least May 22.
Although this phase allows retail stores to open at half capacity, it still includes a stay-at-home order, limits most gatherings to 10 people and prohibits dine-in restaurant service.
Cooper said this phase may be extended if certain coronavirus-related metrics show an increased need for concern in the coming days.
Causey said he signed the letter because he wants the Council of State to meet with the governor to discuss what reopening will look like as the state moves past Phase 1.
“Some of the other Council of State members and myself just want to know what plans are going forward,” Causey said. “Every day I hear from people across the state that are very worried and concerned about their livelihood, and they’re concerned about the economy.”
Causey said the North Carolinians he has heard from seem to be more worried about economic effects of coronavirus than the current plan reflects.