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Face Masks Required For Retail & Restaurant Employees
Governor Cooper cites increased levels of COVID-19 hospitilizations
June 25, 2020

G
overnor Roy Cooper announced an executive order Wednesday that requires all North Carolinians to wear face masks in public places as follows: Face masks are required in public places, indoors or outdoors, where physical distancing of at least six feet is not possible, unless an individual is with family members or people in the same residence. Cooper said face masks are required for all retail employees and restaurant workers. Cooper noted the effectiveness of face masks to slow communal spread, revealed by medical science and data, “is overwhelming.”

The order also while pauses the state’s phase two economic re-openings. This executive order goes into effect on Friday at 5p and will remain in effect for at least three weeks.

Governor Cooper stated “North Carolina has been careful in lifting Covid-19 restrictions. And it’s because public health experts warned that removing restrictions too fast or all at once can cause a dangerous spike in the virus that would overwhelm our medical system.”

Wednesday’s announcement:

There were 1,721 new COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday in North Carolina, as well as 906 people admitted to hospitals throughout the state – the 2nd highest daily numbers in both categories since the pandemic started. There were 20 deaths reported Wednesday, bringing the total to 1,271 COVID-19 deaths.

As the state gradually eased restrictions in recent weeks, there has been an increase in community spread of the coronavirus, according to the governor.

“Daily case counts have gone up; the percent of tests returning positive has stayed high. Since May 19, the number of people hospitalized has increased 56%, from being in the five hundreds to now over 900 in just little over a month,” he said. “Doctors and health care experts have warned that hospital capacity can be overwhelmed in the blink of an eye. And once we see that capacity is gone, it can be too late to reverse the tide.”

“The numbers we see are a stark warning, and we must pay attention,” Cooper added.

Cooper shared the words of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who stated Tuesday that North Carolina risks an “insidious increase in community spread” in coming weeks.

The governor further quoted Dr. Fauci: “He cautioned that leaders in our state have to act to blunt the surge of cases. He also testified that the next couple of weeks are critical for our country in the fight against Covid-19.”

Law enforcement officers will be able to issue violations against businesses whose employees are not wearing face masks, or against customers who refuse a business’ requirement to wear them. Cooper said officers can issue violations based on trespassing laws to ensure the protection of employees.

Governor Cooper added that the decision to require face masks was influenced by studies released in the past week, including one from the University of North Carolina.

Before this new requirement, the state had strongly recommended face masks in public places.

Posted Thursday June 25, 2020 by Keith N. Smith


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