NC Not Planning To Tighten COVID-19 Safety Restrictions, Despite Surge

NC Not Planning To Tighten COVID-19 Safety Restrictions, Despite Surge

9:01am Aug 19, 2021
Governor Roy Cooper says he has no plans right now to reinstate a statewide mask mandate or force school districts to enact masking requirements. GERRY BROOME/AP

State officials say they’re not planning to tighten COVID-19 safety restrictions right now, despite new data showing increased spread of the virus. 

At a press conference Wednesday, officials presented a map from the Centers for Disease Control showing every North Carolina county in the red — indicating the highest level of COVID-19 transmission. Case numbers and hospitalizations are also rising sharply. 

Governor Roy Cooper says he has no plans right now to reinstate a statewide mask mandate or force school districts to enact masking requirements. Instead, he says, they are encouraging local districts and governments to make those decisions. 

“I think you get more effective buy-in when it is done at the local level and decisions are being made at the local level, particularly now with all of the knowledge that we have," he said. 

Guilford County, Winston-Salem and Boone are among several North Carolina municipalities that have recently reinstated indoor mask mandates.

Cooper says state health officials are now calling school districts that have opted out of mask requirements to encourage them to change their policies. He says 75% of North Carolina students will be under a mask mandate this school year. 

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