Governor relaxes NC mask and gathering restrictions
by Think Currituck, on 4/30/21 11:21 AM
RALEIGH, N.C. - North Carolinians' continued progress in following COVID-19 guidelines and becoming vaccinated has enabled Gov. Roy Cooper to confidently relax the edict for wearing masks outdoors, as well as increasing the number of people who may gather socially.
According to a press statement from the governor's office on April 28, Gov. Cooper signed that day Executive Order No. 209, which is to take effect April 30 and last until June 1.
Specifically, the directive maintains that people still wear their masks inside, but those are no longer required outside. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has made a strong plea that masks should be worn outdoors in crowded places and situations where social distancing is not feasible.
Further, capacity limits for mass gatherings are officially increased. The indoor restriction goes up from 50 to 100 people, and the one for outdoors rises from 100 to 200 people. The occupancy checks that were already in place will stay as is.
More easing of pandemic-related orders are likely afterward as the number of COVID-19 cases decreases and the amount of confirmed vaccinations increases.
The governor stressed, “While our numbers are mostly stable, we have more work to do to beat back this pandemic. Let’s work hard in May and get as many people vaccinated as we can before summer gets here.”
One region in North Carolina that especially welcomes the governor's new directives is Currituck County.
Referring to the governor's announcement, Currituck Economic Director Larry Lombardi said, “This is great news for local business. I know plenty of Currituck County business owners who will be happy to see increased occupancy limits and fewer COVID restrictions, especially as our peak season is beginning. Safety remains a priority, but freedom from mandates and restrictions will give our shops, restaurants and service providers a fighting chance to make up for lost time.”
Present with Gov. Cooper at the signing of the executive order was North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D., who gave an update on the state’s current data, trends and vaccination progress.
Briefly, within a two-week span, the course of the state's confirmed cases, percentage of positive tests and hospitalizations are all level at this time.
The doctor noted that North Carolina still works to deliver the COVID-19 vaccinations as fair and fast as possible. Reportedly, over 7 million doses have been put into residents. Of those people 18 and up, nearly 49 percent are vaccinated partially, and a little over 32 percent are fully immunized.
Cohen added, “Fortunately, we now have enough vaccine for everyone. They are free and widely available across the state. In many places you don’t need appointment. For those who have questions, I encourage you to go to YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov to learn about the benefits of the vaccines, potential temporary reactions you might experience, and answers to common questions.”
Naturally, the pandemic and its variants in the state are being tracked by state health personnel. They urge people to rigorously follow safety protocols such as the three Ws: Wearing a mask, waiting 6 feet apart from one another and washing hands frequently.