Governor Roy Cooper announced Wednesday that North Carolina will remain paused in Phase 3 for three more weeks as health officials continue to monitor North Carolina’s viral trends.

North Carolina has seen increased hospitalizations and trajectory of cases in recent weeks. Governor Cooper underscored the importance of wearing masks, social distancing, and using good judgment.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen and Secretary of Department of Public Safety Erik Hooks sent a letter to local officials in communities with increased viral spread urging their continued action in fighting COVID-19 and suggesting additional measures to mitigate its spread.

Cooper also gave an update on progress with the NC Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions program. Since announced last week, 12,000 eligible applicants have filed for assistance.

The HOPE Program provides assistance to eligible low-and-moderate income renters experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic by making direct payments to landlords and utility companies.

People can apply for help by calling 2-1-1 or going to nc211.org/hope.