NCHSAA moves into phase 2


Phase 2 of the reopening plan will begin on August 3rd. The new phase does not change the number of student athletes who will be allowed to practice in groups, but it does introduce some new equipment. Social distancing will still be enforced, however kids will finally be able to start practicing with balls again.


Some other new things that come with phase 2 are:

  • Sharing of equipment is permissible within small groups.
  • Wearing protective equipment remains prohibited.
  • Equipment must be disinfected frequently.
  • 1st Responders are not required.


The NCHSAA Staff has been working closely with the NCHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) on recommendations for member schools regarding summer activities that align with NC DHHS directives. The guidance utilizes a phased approach for NCHSAA athletes and is intended to help school administrators, coaches, parents, students, and communities navigate a gradual reopening of high school athletic activities.

The health and safety measures outlined in this plan were formed utilizing CDC, DHHS, and NCHSAA information at this time. It is recognized, however, that the information and circumstances concerning COVID-19 remain fluid and variable. Therefore, these guidelines are subject to change in conjunction with new knowledge of COVID-19 or changing social conditions.

Again, these guidelines do not become effective until August 3rd.

Pisgah National Forest to begin reopening trails and roads

Outdoors, Press Release

The Pisgah National Forest will begin to reopen many trails and roads and partially lift restrictions for dispersed camping May 14, using a site-by-site approach, including assessment of facility cleanliness, maintenance status, and health and safety of recreation areas. Facilities and services may remain limited at some sites.

Popular recreation areas that will reopen include, but are not limited to:

• Catawba Falls, TR 225
• Brown Mountain Off Highway Vehicle Area
• Black Balsam Road, FSR 816, and associated trails
• Bent Creek Road, FSR 479 and most trails and trailheads

For a complete list of trails, roads, and recreation areas that are reopening please visit The few roads that remain closed, are only closed to motorized vehicles, non-motorized use is allowed.

Restrictions on dispersed camping will be lifted for the entire Appalachian Ranger District. Dispersed camping restrictions will also be lifted for the Grandfather Ranger District with the exception of overnight camping within the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area on the weekends, which requires a permit. For the month of May, the Forest Service will not be issuing these permits. Dispersed camping restrictions remain in place for the Pisgah Ranger District. These decisions were made in coordination with county and local partners to ensure the safety of the public and employees.

Visitors can expect restrooms to remain closed and trash services to continue to be suspended. Please pack out what you pack in and remember to use Leave No Trace Principles.

Forest Service staff will continue to perform risk assessments to determine which recreation areas can resume operations in accordance with county and local partners and current public health guidance.

The Forest Service’s highest priority is ensuring the safety of the public and their employees while supporting mission critical functions. Please review current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with local and state guidelines for social distancing and cloth face coverings.

For additional information please contact the Appalachian Ranger District at (828) 689-9694; Grandfather Ranger District at (828) 652-2144; Pisgah Ranger District at (828) 877-3265; Supervisor’s Office at (828) 257-4200.

Phase One of reopening North Carolina begins on May 8

phase one

RALEIGH, N.C. – Starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 8, residents of N.C. will have certain restrictions lifted as the state moves toward reopening.

In Phase One, the distinction between essential and non-essential businesses is removed and individuals can leave their homes for any commercial activity that is open. Small outdoor gatherings are allowed, but gatherings more than 10 are still prohibited. Religious services and First Amendment activities are also allowed but must follow social distancing protocols. However, the 10-person limit doesn’t apply to these gatherings, but they should gather outside unless impossible.

“COVID-19 is still a serious threat to our state, and Phase 1 is designed to be a limited easing of restrictions that can boost parts of our economy while keeping important safety rules in place,” said Governor Cooper. “This is a careful and deliberate first step, guided by the data, and North Carolinians still must use caution while this virus is circulating.”

Those who do decide to go out they are encouraged to wear a face mask, carry hand sanitizer, wash their hands whenever possible, and regularly clean high-touch surfaces.

“When leaving home and wear it inside all public settings such as grocery stores, pharmacies, or other retail or public-serving businesses. A Face Covering should also be worn outdoors when you cannot maintain at least six (6) feet distancing from other people with the exception of family or household members. These coverings function to protect other people more than the wearer,” states the Executive Order.

Retail stores can operate at 50 percent capacity. Additionally, customers must stand six feet apart and retailers should provide hand sanitizer, screen employees, and frequently clean.  NCDHHS is posting the screening questionnaire online.

Phase One summary from Gov. Cooper’s office.

Businesses that remain closed are bars, personal care businesses, entertainment venues, and gyms.

Restaurants may only continue to serve customers for drive-through, takeout and delivery.

All employees are encouraged to wear face masks or coverings and Cooper still recommends teleworking whenever possible.

Long-term care facilities are still closed to visitors.

Parks are encouraged to open if they can accommodate social distancing, but playgrounds should remain closed.

Childcare facilities will be open to serve families who need the assistance. The organizations are required to follow strict cleaning protocols. Summer day camps can operate in compliance with NC DHHS guidelines.

In explaining the decision to move to Phase One, Cooper and Secretary Cohen reported North Carolina remains stable on the following key metrics:

  • Trajectory in COVID-Like Illness (CLI) Surveillance Over 14 Days – North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is decreasing.
  • Trajectory of Lab-Confirmed Cases Over 14 Days – North Carolina’s trajectory of lab-confirmed cases over the last 14 days cases is slightly increasing.
  • Trajectory in Percent of Tests Returning Positive Over 14 Days – North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive over the last 14 days is decreasing.
  • Trajectory in Hospitalizations Over 14 Days – North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations over the last 14 days is level.

In addition to these metrics, the state continues building capacity to be able to adequately respond to an increase in virus spread. These areas include:

  • Laboratory Testing – North Carolina has doubled the daily testing rate.
  • Tracing Capability – The Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative has received over 4,000 applications and is in the process of hiring 250 new contact tracers.
  • Personal Protective Equipment – Supply chains continue to improve with the exception of gowns.

The order is in effect until 5 p,m, on Friday, May 22. However, the end of this Order does not necessarily mean the state will move to Phase Two. Phase Two only start if data and indicators are in the right place.

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