Over the last week, a lot has changed for North Carolina regarding the fight against COVID-19, including the transition from Phase 2 into Phase 2.5. Governor Roy Cooper announced on September 1st that North Carolina would be taking a modest step forward to Phase 2.5, effective on Friday, September 4th. Dr. Mandy Cohen, the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, states, “As we take modest steps forward today, it’s important to remember that moving forward doesn’t mean letting up on slowing the spread of the virus.” Governor Cooper continued his statewide mask mandate to help slow the spread of the virus. After 4 months of Phase 2 in North Carolina, Governor Cooper believes that more businesses can open now and more restrictions can be relaxed. The businesses that are now allowed to open in Phase 2.5 include gyms, playgrounds, museums, and aquariums. While these businesses are allowed to open, gyms are only allowed to open to 30% capacity while museums and aquariums are allowed to open to 50% capacity. Additionally, the mass gathering limit for indoor activities has been raised from 10 people to 25 and the mass gathering limit for outdoor activities has been raised from 25 people to 50. Governor Cooper says that there is a decline in the trend for COVID-like illnesses in North Carolina. While this is good news, Cooper still will not allow bars, clubs, and movie theaters to open. While North Carolina has taken a step forward towards opening back up, there remain problems that Governor Cooper will experience.