The New Executive Order for Masks and a Vaccine Update for North Carolina

On April 28, our Governor, Roy Cooper and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen provided a much needed update on the state’s current COVID case numbers, how the curve is looking, and vaccination progress. Thankfully, that was all positive as our metrics remain stable right now, which hasn’t been true in a long time. Because of this, Cooper signed an Executive Order that states masks will still be required indoors but are no longer mandated outdoors. However, they are still encouraged by the DHHS if you are in crowded areas outside. This current order will be in place until June 1 when the state then anticipates lifting more restrictions. 

While giving the Executive Order, Cooper stated, “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.” Hearing this, just in the past few days vaccination rates have gone up as more and more people are encouraged to get it. That is great news for the summer because I’m sure that nobody wants a repeat of last summer: sitting at home, stuck inside, no events, no concerts, nothing. As long as our rates stay positive, we shouldn’t have to worry about that for this summer. Speaking of events, the Executive Order also increased gathering capacity limits to 50 to 100 for indoors and 100 to 200 for outdoors! This makes the idea of social gatherings, flea markets, festivals, and concerts very promising in the next few months. 

Secretary Cohen also spoke on the matter: “Fortunately, we now have enough vaccines for everyone. They are free and widely available across the state. In many places you don’t need an appointment. For those of you 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.” Again, hearing another push for the vaccine is encouraging more and more people to go get it. Our state is continuing to distribute vaccines quickly. As of April 27, , the state has given over seven million doses. 48.7% of those 18 and up and are at least partially vaccinated, and 39.2% of those 18 and up have been fully vaccinated! 

While the vaccinated numbers are increasing and masks are no longer mandatory outside, state health officials are still continuing to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and its variants in NC, which is why it is vital that we still follow all of the guidelines. Wearing a mask indoors, social distancing, and washing your hands often. The curve is going down, but we’re not quite there yet, so if everyone works together to beat this pandemic, we should be back to normal soon.

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