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Gov. Cooper: N.C. mask mandate still in effect as officials review new CDC guidelines

Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 8:09 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that it would be easing up on mask guidance as more and more people become fully vaccinated. But North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper is holding off on adopting the new guidances for now.

According to the CDC, masks would still be recommended for settings like public transportation, but most restrictions would be lifted for those who are fully vaccinated.

“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities – large or small — without wearing a mask or physically distancing,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.

Dory MacMillan, press secretary for Gov. Cooper, released a statement pointing out that state health officials will still need to review the CDC’s recommendations before lifting the state’s indoor mask mandate.

“The CDC announcement today on masks shows the important benefits of vaccinations. North Carolina two weeks ago removed the outdoor mask mandate, but the indoor mask mandate remains in effect while state health officials review the specific CDC recommendations,” the statement read.

Gov. Cooper announced April 21 that he anticipates lifting mandatory social distancing and mass gathering restrictions by June 1.

“Although we’re making progress, we haven’t beat COVID-19 yet,” Cooper said at the time.

To date, more than 51 percent of North Carolina adults have received at least one COVID-19 shot, and 45.5 percent are fully vaccinated. The CDC approved COVID-19 vaccine use for 12- to 15-year olds on Wednesday.

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