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N.C. Gov.: ‘Our new normal’ may have no in-person crowds for awhile

Michael Palmer, a NASCAR fan and emergency room nurse at a Detroit-area hospital, joins "Lunch Talk Live" with Mike Tirico to share his experiences during the pandemic and getg surprised by Jimmie Johnson in the process.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper explained Wednesday what it would take to ease stay-at-home order restrictions in the state and said that “in our new normal … the only sporting events or concerts that you may be able to watch for awhile will have no in-person crowds.”

With most NASCAR Cup, Xfinity and Gander & RV Outdoors Truck Series teams based in North Carolina, Gov. Cooper’s orders will impact them.

As of Wednesday, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported that the state had 5,123 laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 out of 67,827 completed tests. There have been 117 deaths in North Carolina from COVID-19.
Gov. Cooper issued a stay-at-home order to begin March 30 and go through April 29. Race shops have been closed since.

MORE: Dr. Anthony Fauci on how sports can return: Regular testing, no fans
NASCAR postponed seven Cup races through May 3 at Dover International Speedway. The next Cup race scheduled is May 9 at Martinsville Speedway but Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued a stay-at-home order from March 30 through June 10. That order prohibits “all public and private in-person gatherings of more than 10 individuals. … This includes parties, celebrations, religious and other social events, whether they occur indoor or outdoor.”

The next NASCAR Cup races after Martinsville would be the All-Star Race on May 16 and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. There also is a Truck race scheduled All-Star weekend and Xfinity Series race the day before the 600.

Gov. Cooper tweeted Wednesday: “Our efforts to flatten the curve are working. And that means we have saved lives. The Stay at Home orders are working, but we know our current situation is not sustainable in the long run. I know people are wondering, where do we go from here?

“This virus is going to be with us until there is a vaccine, which may be a year or more away. As we ease restrictions, we are going to enter a new normal. We want to get back to work while at the same time preventing that spike that’ll overwhelm our hospitals with patients.”

Here’s what he said Wednesday: