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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

Protesters Crowd Trade And Tryon Demanding Faster Reopen

Steve Harrison
Members of Reopen Meck protested in uptown Charlotte Friday.

About 100 people said North Carolina’s statewide stay-at-home order should end during a midday protest in uptown Charlotte on Friday.

Chris Schwall of Charlotte – who participated in the Reopen Meck protest – said he was OK with the stay-at-home order at first.

“While I agree personally that the lockdown made sense initially because we didn’t know what we were fighting, from what I’ve read and seen and all the stats, it seems like now is potentially the time to reopen," Schwall said. "And folks, if you are immunocompromised or you are in a camp that’s in the compromised group, by all means don’t go out.”

Schwall was one of about three dozen people that stood at the intersection of Trade and Tryon streets waving signs. There was also a parade of cars that drove through uptown, honking their horns.

Jeremy Stephenson, an attorney, said the restaurants he represents have laid off 2,000 people.

“Those people want to work,” he said.

Gov. Roy Cooper says he’s hopeful the state can move into Phase 1 of reopening after May 8, when the stay-at-home order expires.

Phase 1 is expected to last between two and three weeks. After that, the state has said more businesses could open, and limits on the size of gatherings would be increased.

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