Stacked chairs and picnic tables sit unused in the outdoor eating area of Famous Toastery in Davidson, NC on Thursday, May 14, 2020. Restaurants Restaurants like this and many other businesses across the state are losing business due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Republican officials request meeting with Cooper to discuss reopening N.C. economy

Six Republican 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 weeks of pandemic-related shutdowns. 

2020 Coronavirus Outbreak

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With the COVID-19 pandemic, the foreseeable future of UNC athletics looks grim. Original photograph taken at a men's soccer game on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013.

'I just can’t imagine it': UNC professors on sports' return in 2020

With Monday marking two months since the NBA suspended its season in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UNC professor Jonathan Weiler, who hosts the "Agony of Defeat” podcast about the intersection between sports and politics with UNC history professor Matthew Andrews, admits he's on the pessimistic side for sports' return in the near future. Both noted in interviews with The Daily Tar Heel that virtually every league is in uncharted territory right now, with no clear path forward. “We’ve never had this before. Ever,” Weiler said. “Where there’s no sports, anywhere in the world.”

Cars drive on Franklin Street at night on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the pictured businesses and many others on Franklin Street have either ceased operations entirely or have adapted their operations for the current crisis.

N.C. will enter Phase 1 of COVID-19 recovery on Friday, Cooper says

North Carolina will move into Phase 1 of Gov. Roy Cooper's plan to ease restrictions and gradually reopen the state following the outbreak of COVID-19 on May 8, the governor announced in a Tuesday press conference. Cooper signed an executive order that will go into effect this Friday evening. The order lifts some restrictions, such as allowing certain retailers to operate at a limited capacity, but keeps others in place.  "We can only boost our economy when people have confidence in their safety," Cooper said Tuesday. "Fighting this virus requires all of us to do our part."

The Faculty Executive Committee met virtually Monday, April 27, 2020 to discuss concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the University's budget, as well as the possibility of furloughs.  

Faculty Executive Committee voices budget and furlough fears for fall semester

Robert Blouin, executive vice chancellor and provost, answered questions from the Faculty Executive Committee's virtual meeting Monday afternoon. He said the University has not received any information from the UNC System or the North Carolina General Assembly regarding budget cuts. He said furloughs are an option the University may consider if faced with financial challenges.

Laid off employees struggle to apply for unemployment benefits

 “Upfront, it was pretty frustrating," he said. "Because people rely on the money and it was taking a while for the application to be submitted."   As Gov. Roy Cooper extends the state's stay-at-home order until early May, some Chapel Hill restaurants are grappling with having to lay off their staff and finding new ways to run their businesses while maintaining social distancing. Meanwhile, a lot of restaurant staff are grappling with unemployment.

Protesters gathered together in Raleigh on Tuesday, April 21, 2020 as part of the Reopen N.C. movement. Photo courtesy of Ashley Smith. 

State officials face pressure to reopen the economy as protesters crowd Raleigh streets

William C. McKinney, general counsel for the office of Gov. Roy Cooper, mailed a letter in response to an attorney who petitioned him representing activists in favor of reopening the state. "Outdoor protests are allowed so long as the space occupied by the protesters is not enclosed (i.e. within walls) and so long as the protesters maintain the Social Distancing Requirement," McKinney said in the letter.