Gov. Roy Cooper recommends local governments, schools to end mask mandates in North Carolina

The governor says now people know how to gauge their level of risk and decide how best to protect themselves.
The governor says now people know how to gauge their level of risk and decide how best to protect themselves.
Published: Feb. 16, 2022 at 5:03 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 17, 2022 at 11:40 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper is recommending local governments and school districts to end mask mandates as the fight continues against COVID-19 in the state.

Gov. Cooper says people continue to get vaccinated and boosted, and 75 percent of adults have at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine in North Carolina.

The governor ended North Carolina’s statewide mask mandate in Spring 2021 and says he has relied on local school districts, local governments and local public health officials to make good decisions.

Gov. Cooper says he recognizes that the Omicron variant is more contagious, yet generally causes less severe illness, particularly to people who are vaccinated and boosted.

The governor says now people know how to gauge their level of risk and decide how best to protect themselves.

As a result of all of these factors, Gov. Cooper is encouraging schools and local governments to end their mask mandates.

NCDHHS says as of March 7, low-risk settings, including schools, are encouraged to make masks voluntary at the discretion of local authorities.

The governor says now people know how to gauge their level of risk and decide how best to protect themselves.

Related: Mecklenburg County commissioners unanimously vote to end indoor mask mandate

The governor’s comments are coming after Mecklenburg County leaders voted Wednesday night to remove the county-wide mask mandate.

This was the first time since summer 2021 that Gov. Cooper offered new guidance on wearing masks in the state.

Gov. Cooper says people and businesses should continue to make the best decisions for themselves, their employees and their customers.

There are still some places, like health care, long-term care and public transportation where a mask will still be required because of settings or federal regulations.

“Learning to live with this virus is a reality we will continue facing. Some people, including me, will feel more comfortable wearing a mask in crowds. Parents may still want their children wearing a mask at school. Businesses may want their employees & customers wearing masks,” Gov. Cooper said. “At this stage of the pandemic, it is right for them to make these choices in most situations. The most important thing people need to know is vaccines provide the strongest protection against serious illness, hospitalization and death from this virus.”

Leaders say North Carolina is adapting its response based on the data and for the current stage of the pandemic. Vaccines and boosters are widely available and have protected millions of people against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

Treatment is available for those at higher risk of severe disease, and the state’s COVID-19 trends are decreasing, lowering the risk of infection, and improving hospital capacity.

Copyright 2022 WBTV. All rights reserved.