Gov. Cooper Considering Making Masks Mandatory

CHARLOTTE, NC – North Carolina leaders are considering making masks mandatory as COVID-19 cases continue to rise and businesses reopen. 

“Our trends are going in the wrong direction. But our fate is not sealed here. We have power over this,” said State Health Director Dr. Mandy Cohen. 

She remained stern, but optimistic about the continued rise of COVID-19 cases in the state. 

“This is going to take effort on all of our parts if we’re going to live with this virus,” said Cohen.

One worry is restaurants and other businesses not enforcing or ignoring the 50% capacity restriction.

“We’re concerned if there are restaurants that are violating this,” said Gov. Roy Cooper.

Restaurants this past weekend in Charlotte, Raleigh and other cities had crowds, with limited physical distance and few masks. 

Cooper says his office is now looking into the possibility of making masks mandatory. But how and what that would look like is still up in the air. 

“We want people voluntarily to do this [wear masks], but we are looking at additional rules to potentially make these mandatory,” said Cooper.

There is also uncertainty surrounding the move to the next phase of the reopen plan. Which is set to begin at the end of next week. 

“Right now, they’re not trending in a good direction, but we still want to give this more time,” said Cooper. 

Cooper says he will make a decision on the reopen plan progress by early next week.