Some small businesses worried about impacts after highest number of reported COVID-19 cases across N.C.

Could spike in COVID cases send N.C. back to Phase 2?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - On Friday, North Carolina has recorded it’s highest single day total of new coronavirus cases at 2,684 cases.

The previous record high was Thursday. It’s a troubling trend for many, including small business owners. They’re worried there could be new restrictions next week, instead of easing of restrictions when Phase 3 expires on October 23.

At a press conference on Thursday, Governor Cooper said he wasn’t ready to tighten restrictions yet but said the trends of data are going in the wrong direction.

“It’s in no one’s plan to be closed for 7 months," said Michael Felt, the managing partner of the Blind Pig bar in NoDa.

Felt says it’s been a challenging seven months to own a small business. He says he’s happy to be back at work at least somewhat. Right now, bars can only open outside at 30% capacity. Lucky for Felt, the Bling Pig has a large patio.

“I want to get back to business, I want to get back to providing our service to the public on a full time basis. That’s the goal," he said.

But he says that feels farther away now more than ever. North Carolina reported on Friday the highest number of positive cases since the pandemic started.

MORE: Governor, NCDHHS secretary, speak about recent spike in COVID cases

“I’m not optimistic about next Wednesday’s press conference regarding our capacity, or extended hours of service or being able to serve inside, or really any of it," he said.

Worst case scenario is that he’s forced to close his doors again. But he’s fearful Phase 3 businesses like bars and theaters are going to get blamed for the spike in cases. Felt said that’s can’t be the case since many bars weren’t even able to open without a patio.

“Not a lot of us are open,” Felt said. “There has to be something else at play. We need to address that and get it solved so all of us can get back to the way things were.”

Although North Carolina is seeing the highest number of new cases, Mecklenburg County’s data map is still trending downwards.

On Thursday in Mecklenburg County there were 256 reported positive cases. The all time high for the county was 451 in July.

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