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The Voice of the Black Community


Gov. Roy Cooper's order ends most restrictions on physical distancing
COVID-19 mandates put on hold across NC
Published Friday, May 14, 2021 6:00 pm
by Ashley Mahoney

Most of North Carolina's mask mandates and gathering limits have been ended by Gov. Roy Cooper after federal guidance allows people with the COVID-19 vaccination to gather in public settings. As of Friday, state data showed 989,338 people have contracted COVID-19 and 12,862 have died.

Physical distancing is no longer required in North Carolina.

Residents may resume life without keeping 6 feet apart, limits on how many people can gather and most mask mandates are ending after 14 months of restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been 989,338 cases in the state and 12,862 deaths due to the disease.

Gov. Roy Cooper announced today, effective immediately, all mandatory capacity and gathering limits, physical distancing requirements and mandatory mask requirements have been lifted. Mandatory indoor mask requirements remain on public transportation, childcare settings, schools, prisons and certain public health spaces. The state Department of Health and Human Services strongly recommends people who are not vaccinated wear masks.

Cooper’s announcement comes the day after the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to wear a mask or stay 6 feet apart unless required by law or local business and workplace guidance.

“Certainly anyone who feels better protected or has received advice from a doctor should continue to wear a mask,” Cooper said. “Throughout the pandemic, I’ve said we would listen to health experts and follow the science as we made decisions. We would listen to the CDC. Our focus would be on saving lives. We would use a dimmer-switch approach to easing restrictions. We’re continuing to do all these things.”

Cooper said over half of adults in the state have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 46% are fully vaccinated. While the numbers are encouraging, there is more work to do as the pandemic remains.

“I have a message for people who have not been vaccinated, and especially those who will choose not to wear a mask,” Cooper said. “Get vaccinated now. If you don’t listen to me, ask your doctor and do what your doctor tells you. With more people not wearing masks going forward and COVID-19 and its more infectious variants spreading, there is a real risk that unvaccinated people can get it. Please be responsible and wear a mask until you get vaccinated.”


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