Gov. Cooper issues executive order easing some COVID restrictions

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Kyle Perrotti, The Mountaineer, Waynesville, N.C.
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Apr. 28—North Carolina will ease mask and gathering restrictions.

The news came via a Wednesday afternoon press conference with Gov. Roy Cooper and N.C. Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen. Both cited new CDC guidelines that now say fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear a mask when outdoors, unless in a crowded venue like a stadium.

The new executive order, which will go into effect Friday, mirrors that CDC guidance. Along with masks no longer being required outdoors, the order also raises the limit for gatherings to 200 outdoors and 100 indoors. Cooper warned that people need to remain vigilant, especially when indoors.

"This virus can still spread easily when people are inside," he said.

"If we can get to 2/3 of our population at least partially vaccinated, we also plan on lifting our indoor mask mandate," he later added.

Cooper reiterated that people getting vaccinated is the key to easing additional restrictions and added that he still hopes the mass gathering restrictions will be lifted all together by June 1.

"Let's work hard in May and get as many people vaccinated as we can," he said.

As of now, 49% of North Carolinians have received at least one vaccine dose and about 39% are fully vaccinated.