North Carolina Gov. Cooper announces stricter state-wide mask mandate

Southeast

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Gov. Roy Cooper announced a stricter state-wide mask mandate on Monday that says North Carolinians must wear a mask at home when you have friends or family over to visit as well as wearing a mask at work, at the gym, at the store and at school.

Cooper said his latest executive order makes it “clear that everyone needs to wear a mask whenever you are with someone you don’t live with.”

“I have a stark warning for North Carolinians today. We are in danger. This is a pivotal moment in our fight against the coronavirus. Our actions now will determine the fate of many,” Cooper said.

Cooper said wearing a mask is the best way to help slow the spread.

“This order also strengthens the role of businesses in ensuring masks are worn by everyone in the store, staff, and customers, and that they are abiding by capacity limits so that people can stay distant and can stay safe,” the governor said.

The new executive order also requires businesses with more than 15,000-square feet to have an employee stationed near entrances ensuring mask wearing and implementing occupancy limits for patrons who enter.

The restrictions will remain in place through at least Dec. 11.

Cooper said the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services updated its County Alert System map earlier than originally scheduled due to the increase in cases. The map was originally intended to be updated every four weeks.

It was updated after just one week.

“This week you’ll see that 10 more counties have been designated as red, indicating critically high levels of community spread. We now have 20 red counties and 42 orange counties. This is deadly serious,” Cooper said.

Cooper’s announcement comes as North Carolina has 1,601 patients hospitalized related to the virus – a record for the state.

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