Update: Orange County will updated its state of emergency declaration in response to Gov. Roy Cooper's Tuesday decision to move the state into phase 2.5.
The county's update will comply with the statewide order to:
- Allow gyms to open at 30 percent capacity, museums and aquariums to open at 50 percent capacity and playgrounds to open.
- Allow restaurants to sell alcohol until an 11:00 p.m. statewide curfew.
Previously, the county had banned alcohol sales after 10 p.m.
However, mass gatherings in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Orange County will still be limited at 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. This is in contrast to the new statewide guidance that will allow indoor gatherings of up to 25 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people.
Board of County Commissioners Chairperson Penny Rich said this is because of a high COVID-19 positivity rate in the county due to many UNC students returning to the area.
"Our last positive percent rate was at 10.1 percent in Orange County," she said. "It's very, very high. It's higher than most of the state right now."
She said the county could consider raising the limit on mass gatherings if the positivity rate falls to 5 percent.
The county's order will go into effect Friday at 5 p.m. and remain in place until Oct. 31.