Covid Cases Hit Levels Not Seen Since February As Governor Cooper Stops Short Of Reinstating The Mask Mandate

CHARLOTTE, NC – The Delta Covid variant is causing a surge in North Carolina cases not seen since February.

Governor Roy Cooper telling reporters today that more than 3,400 people have tested positive for Covid since Tuesday.  The percent of positive tests is at it’s highest level since February at 12 percent. And there are more than 1,500 people in the hospital.

“We can’t rest until this pandemic is behind us,” said Cooper.

There was a new sense of urgency from North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper on Wednesday.

“I can’t stress this enough. The sharp rise in our numbers is driven by the unvaccinated,” said Cooper.

His office doubled down on their efforts to increase vaccination rates across the state.

“As we seek to get more people vaccinated. It’s time to come together again and focus on that common goal,” said Cooper.

Pressed about why he hasn’t instituted a mask mandate or required masks in schools, Cooper deflected.

“As this Delta variant increases, we hope that other school boards would reconsider what they have done and put in the mask requirement,” explained Cooper.

He insisted that people will continue to “do what’s right.”

“We really believe that people now know what to do to protect themselves and other people and our primary focus is going to be vaccinations,” said Cooper.

In the Charlotte region, the Covid volume is up.

Dr. Charles Bregier with Novant health says there are about 180 people hospitalized with Covid across their health system. That’s less than the peak of about 600 in early December.  But it’s a sharp increase from just 25 a few weeks ago.

The Delta variant can easily spread and more than 90% of those hospitalized are unvaccinated.

“We are not done with this war we are at with the covid virus. We have a new battle we’re facing,” said Dr. Bregier.