Gov. Roy Cooper on Monday, March 23, ordered additional categories of public places closed, lowered the limit for the number of people at gatherings to 50 and extended the closing of public schools for in-person instruction through May 15.

At 11 a.m. Monday, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services announced that the state had 297 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 46 counties out of 8,438 completed tests of samples. Wilkes still wasn’t among North Carolina counties with confirmed cases. There were no deaths in N.C. Nationwide, there were 15,219 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 201 deaths.

Cooper announced these additional measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus in a press conference at 1 p.m. Monday. Cooper initially announced the closure of the state's public schools for two weeks starting March 16. 

Effective Monday, gatherings of more than 50 people in North Carolina are prohibited, down from 100. The governments of Wilkes County, Wilkesboro, North Wilkesboro and Ronda took this same action on Thursday.

In addition, Cooper ordered that the following close by 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 25: bingo parlors, bowling alleys, ice skating rinks, indoor exercise facilities (e.g. gyms, yoga studios, and martial arts facilities), health clubs, indoor pools, live performance venues, movie theaters, roller skating rinks, spas, sweepstakes lounges and video game arcades.

He also ordered that the following types of personal care and grooming businesses close by 5 p.m. Wednesday: barber shops, beauty salons, hair salons, manicure/pedicure providers, massage parlors, nail salons and tattoo parlors.

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