CARY, N.C. – Healthcare advocates on Thursday evening said it was good to finally have some guidelines on how and when to reopen the state's economy.

The N.C. Healthcare Association's Cody Hand said President Donald Trump's newly-unveiled guidelines for reopening the U.S. economy are similar to the kind of discussions experts have been having. The guidelines lay out a three-phase approach to reopening the economy. Prior to each phase, health officials would need to record a two-week drop in the number of reported symptomatic cases and positive tests. Hand said any such trends would indicate North Carolina is on the downslope of the curve representing COVID-19 cases.

Earlier in the afternoon, N.C. Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen said federal guidance would be one of many things officials will look at when determining whether and to what extent North Carolinians can return to work. Factors will include death rates and hospitalizations.

Gov. Roy Cooper took part in a conference call with President Trump and the nation's governors prior to the announcement of the new economic guidelines. In a statement, Cooper noted he had already laid out his plans to restart the economy.

“It's good the White House has shared similar guidance, but we still need the federal government to help with testing and personal protective equipment,” he said.

The third phase in the guidelines effectively returns daily life to normal, though it urges people to approach crowded situations with caution. Hand said even once the state reaches that phase, you shouldn't expect your favorite sporting events to return right away. Assuming North Carolina can start reopening right away, he said not to expect any large-scale events before midsummer at the earliest.