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Coronavirus news and updates about the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

Health Secretary: NC Could See More Virus Spread If Individual Counties Reopen

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North Carolina’s top health official says there would be an increase in community spread of the coronavirus if only certain counties begin to lift their stay-at-home orders.

Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen says counties risk increased viral spread across county borders if they begin to reopen. Cohen cited Mecklenburg County as an example during a Wednesday press briefing.

"The folks that work in Mecklenburg County live in 32 surrounding counties," Cohen said. "So trying to think about a county-by-county approach is really challenging. But I do think a regional approach could be possible, but it has to be driven by that data-informed policy. Those are the kind of things we’re trying to look at now."

Some counties, including Gaston County, have urged Gov. Roy Cooper to let them to reopen once his current stay-at-home order expires on April 29. Cohen said North Carolina does not meet current federal guidelines to lift stay-at-home orders, which includes 14 days of decreasing new coronavirus cases. 

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