Gyms, playgrounds and museums reopen under “Phase 2.5”

Gyms, playgrounds and museums reopen under “Phase 2.5”

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Governor Roy Cooper’s “Safer at Home” reopening phase 2.5 took effect at 5 p.m. Friday, September 4 allowing gyms, museums and playgrounds to reopen.

Gyms may re-open at 30% capacity.

[Gyms ready for Safer at Home Phase 2.5 on Friday]

Museums and aquariums may re-open at 50% capacity.

The limits on mass gatherings increased to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.

At the Brooklyn Arts Center, the eased restrictions were immediately celebrated by a couple who moved their wedding into the church from the courtyard.

“They were excited,” said BAC owner Jay Tatum. “As soon as it came out, literally as soon as he made the announcement they were like ‘can we move inside?’ I mean, it’s hot out here, so who wouldn’t want to be inside?”

Tatum says every step forward is progress.

“It’s exciting,” he said. “To me anything more than what we were at is just opens up more opportunities for people who were getting married to say, well, okay now we have options because 10 people inside our building....that’s not even your bridal party.”

Playgrounds will also re-open and New Hanover County Parks and Gardens Director Tara Duckworth expects the splash pad at Long Leaf Park will be a busy spot after it opens Saturday at 9 a.m.

“I think that people are excited about going into this new phase,” Duckworth said. “It is warm, so I think the splash pad will probably be in high demand tomorrow but I know that kids are chomping at the bit to get on the playground.”

In New Hanover County, playgrounds will be cleaned twice per week while public restrooms are cleaned multiple times per day.

“We’re using—on all of our high touch surfaces—we’re using a COVID-approved cleaner,” she said. “We are doing some pressure washing at the playgrounds and the outdoor gyms, just to ensure that things that are touched often are kept clean.”

“Safer at Home 2.5″ keeps bars closed and there are no changes to regulations for restaurants and salons.

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