North Carolinians ditch their masks outdoors following new Executive Order

Outdoor mask mandate lifted

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Friday’s end to the outdoor mask mandate brought a renewed sense of freedom.

On Wednesday, Governor Roy Cooper announced he would be lifting the state’s outdoor mask mandate through Executive Order No. 209.

Masks will still be required indoors, Gov. Roy Cooper said, while limits on mass gatherings have increased to 100 people indoors and 200 outdoors. The governor cited the rising number of fully vaccinated people across North Carolina for the change.

The 76-acre space at Camp North End outside of Uptown Charlotte is encouraging guests to bring an extra mask in case there is a crowd and when interacting with staff at businesses on site.

“Where you can’t socially distance, masks will still be required there but once you’ve gotten your food or gotten your drink and gone off to sit with your friends or walk around in a smaller group, yeah feel free to take your mask off,” said Varian Shrum with Camp North End.

Michele Sosa and her family recently moved from Florida where there wasn’t an outdoor mask mandate so she was surprised to see there was one in North Carolina.

“We’re really happy with this, that we got here in time that the mandate was removed for outdoors and I respect the indoors [mandate],” Sosa said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased its guidelines Tuesday on the wearing of masks outdoors, saying fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to cover their faces anymore unless they are in a big crowd of strangers.

Angela Lampkin is fully vaccinated but says she’s not ready to take that next step.

“COVID is still out there and we have to respect that, COVID doesn’t respect who we are so it’s important that we still do our due diligence and be careful out here,” Lampkin said.

Friday night football can also have fewer masks but only for players and officials actively in the game.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association announced the changes Wednesday, one day after the updated CDC guidance. Masks are still required for athletes and coaches not actively participating in the game.

Some students at Myers Park High School say they’re still keeping their’s on.

“I know there are people here who are not wearing masks and clearly it is a crowd but because they lifted the mask mandate everyone feels like they’re fine. Personally I’m wearing my mask tonight because I haven’t been vaccinated,” said student Anna Carpenter.

“I think if you’re sitting in the stands you should but if you’re up walking around they shouldn’t be that necessary,” said one student.

WBTV reached out to Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools on Friday to see if they would be changing the mask requirements for fans. A spokesperson replied with the following:

CMS is aware the North Carolina High School Athletic Association updated its guidance on face coverings following the Governor’s mask mandate announcement on Wednesday.

CMS has made no changes to our face covering practices. Superintendent Winston and leadership staff will review the NCHSAA changes next week and will communicate any updates immediately should the district implement changes. We continue to prioritize the health and safety of our students and staff.

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