Cooper lifting outdoor mask mandate in North Carolina, changes mass gathering limits

North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE/WAVY) — North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper provided an update Wednesday on the state’s response to the coronavirus days before his latest executive order is set to expire and as the CDC issues new guidelines for wearing masks outdoors.

During the presser, Gov. Cooper announced that the state will “cautiously ease some COVID-19 restrictions” beginning Friday, April 30.

Masks will no longer be mandated outdoors. Mass gatherings will increase to 100 indoors and 200 outdoors.

North Carolina health officials reported 1,765 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday. Overall, the state has reported 965,536 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. The state’s daily positivity rate dropped to 6.2%, down from Tuesday’s 7.5%.

The state also added 14 new patients hospitalized. Currently, North Carolina has 1,117 people hospitalized due to COVID-19. There were 36 new deaths Wednesday, adding to an overall count of 12,619 COVID-19 related deaths. 

Local Counties Metrics:
Gates 727 – 13 deaths
Bertie 1,744  — 43 deaths
Camden 651 – 5 deaths
Chowan 1,447 – 22 deaths
Currituck 1,511 – 16 deaths
Dare 2,078 – 10 deaths
Hertford 2,076 – 63 deaths
Pasquotank 3,295 – 80 deaths
Perquimans 984 – 9 deaths

Percent of Adult Population Partially Vaccinated: 48.7%
Percent of Adult Population Fully Vaccinated: 39.2%

Gov. Cooper’s latest executive order, which went to effect on March 25 and eased many safety protocols for businesses across the state, is set to expire Friday.

The order increased maximum occupancy limits in several areas.

Museums, aquariums, retail businesses and shops, salons and personal care shops, were able to increase capacity to 100%.

Restaurants, breweries, wineries, amusement parks, gyms, pools and other recreation establishments were able to expand capacity up to 75% indoors and 100% outdoors.

U.S. health officials said Tuesday that fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to wear masks outdoors anymore unless they are in a big crowd of strangers.

The CDC also said that those who unvaccinated should wear masks at outdoor gatherings that include other unvaccinated people. They should also wear masks at outdoor restaurants.

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