Governor Cooper Signs Executive Order Limiting the Sale of Alcoholic Beverages After 11 PM

A bartender pouring a beer from tap.

Governor Roy Cooper has signed Executive Order 153 to stop the sale of alcoholic drinks in restaurants, breweries, wineries, and distilleries at 11 pm.

North Carolina bars that are currently closed will remain closed. This order will take effect Friday, July 31.

“Slowing the spread of this virus requires targeted strategies that help lower the risk of transmission,” said Governor Cooper. “This will be particularly important as colleges and universities are scheduled to start, bringing people all over the country to our state. We have seen case numbers increase among younger people, and prevention is critical to slowing the spread of the virus.”

The order will not apply to grocery stores, convenience stores or other entities permitted to sell alcohol for off-premises consumption. Local governments that have implemented orders that end alcohol sales before 11 pm or that apply to other entities remain in effect.

During the announcement, NC DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen gave an update on North Carolina’s data trends. Dr. Cohen explained that while North Carolina’s numbers appear to be stabilizing, officials need more time to watch the data and current levels of cases and hospitalizations remain high.

“Seeing glimmers of potential progress does not mean we can let up — it means it’s time to double down,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, MD. “The positive signs in our trends should only strengthen our resolve to keep at it with those 3 Ws – wear a face covering, wait six feet apart, and wash your hands often.”

Trajectory in COVID-Like Illness (CLI) Surveillance Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is starting to level.

Trajectory of Lab-Confirmed Cases Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s trajectory of lab-confirmed cases is leveling, but is still high.

Trajectory in Percent of Tests Returning Positive Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive is declining, but still above 5 percent.

Trajectory in Hospitalizations Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations is increasing, but the state still has hospital capacity.

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 averaged 29,000 tests per day last week. However, concerns remain about testing turnaround times, supply chain issues and the need for federal support.

Tracing Capability

  • North Carolina continues hiring contact tracers to bolster the efforts of our local health departments.

Personal Protective Equipment

  • Our personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies are stable.

Read the Executive Order. Read the FAQs.