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Here’s what’s happening now:

North Carolina will stay in Phase 2 for at least three more weeks. 

North Carolina will remain in Phase 2 until at least July 17th, and face masks will be required across the state. 

Governor Roy Cooper made the announcement Wednesday as Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary for N.C.’s Department of Health and Human Services, shared how cases and hospitalizations are trending.

In three weeks from Friday, additional restrictions may be lifted.

The first few areas where restrictions could be lifted first include gyms and fitness centers, museums and playgrounds, Gov. Cooper shared Wednesday. Conspicuously not in that list: Bars. 

The next few weeks are critical, Gov. Cooper said, mentioning Dr. Anthony Fauci’s address to the U.S. Congress earlier this week. The nation’s leading infectious disease expert said N.C. could see an “insidious increase in community spread” and that leaders must act.

Face masks will be required in places where social distancing isn’t possible, including in retail businesses, restaurants and meat processing facilities.

Masks were already required in Raleigh, but similar rules will be in effect for all of the state beginning 5 p.m. Friday.

“We’re adding this new requirement because we don’t want to go backward,” Gov. Cooper said., including getting children back in school. 

Read more: [What to know about COVID-19 in Wake County]

What else to know about COVID-19 in Wake County: 
🍎 Now that 66% of childcare centers in N.C. are open, here's what parents should know. [EdNC]
🧪 Wake County Public Health has added drive-through testing for at-risk people through early July in different locations. [Sign up]
Traveling? If you're going to New York, New Jersey or Connecticut, you'll have to quarantine for 14 days because of new rules for people traveling from North Carolina and other states with "significant community spread." [News & Observer]

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The Confederate Monument pillar is officially down.

After four days, the pillar came down on Wednesday morning. Here's what the Capitol grounds look like now, in the center of Downtown Raleigh:

📍 Catch up on the monument's dismantling. []
➡️  Resources for a more just Raleigh: []

The latest on the RDU-area quarry: Activists urged a state agency to not allow the expansion of Wake Stone Corp.'s quarry on land near RDU and Umstead State Park. You can still share your opinion. [News & Observer]

Raleigh is selling a high-valued piece of land for $1. The land, in the historic neighborhood of Idlewild near College Park, will be used as affordable housing for low- and moderate-income people. [ABC-11]

Craft cocktail entrepreneurship during a pandemic: On My Way mixes up mobile cocktail services and mixology classes. [INDY Week]
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