The Transylvania Times -

Cooper: Wear Masks In Public


Last updated 6/29/2020 at 11:59am

Last week Gov. Roy Cooper and N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen to announced that North Carolina would remain in “Safer at Home Phase 2” for three more weeks. Cooper also announced that face coverings must be worn when people are in public places as officials seek to stabilize concerning trends of increasing viral spread.

“North Carolina is relying on the data and the science to lift restrictions responsibly, and right now our increasing numbers show we need to hit the pause button while we work to stabilize our trends,” said Cooper. “We need to all work together so we can protect our families and neighbors, restore our economy, and get people back to work and our children back to school.”

Cohen said the best way to “helping our neighbors” is to wear a mask, covering the nose and mouth.

Growing evidence shows that cloth face coverings, when worn consistently, can decrease the spread of COVID-19, especially among people who are not yet showing symptoms of the virus. Until now, face coverings had been strongly recommended. Under the executive order, people must wear face coverings when in public places where physical distancing is not possible.

In addition, certain businesses must have employees and customers wear face coverings, including retail businesses, restaurants, personal care and grooming; employees of child care centers and camps; state government agencies under the Governor’s Cabinet; workers and riders of transportation; and workers in construction and trades, manufacturing, agriculture, meat processing and healthcare and long-term care settings.

Cooper and Cohen were joined by Dennis Taylor, president of the North Carolina Nurses Association and Eugene A. Woods, President and CEO of Atrium Health.

“Wearing a face covering is an easy thing to do that can make a huge impact for all of us. A major spike in cases would be catastrophic to the system, and without your cooperation, nurses and our fellow health care providers will have a harder time caring for sick patients for weeks and months to come,” said Taylor.

Based on the metrics laid out in April by Cooper and Cohen, North Carolina is evaluating a combination of the data from the following categories that shows the indicators moving in the wrong direction, causing officials to implement the pause in Phase 2.

Trajectory in COVID-Like Illness (CLI) Surveillance Over 14 Days

North Carolina's syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is increasing.

Trajectory of Lab-Confirmed Cases Over 14 Days

North Carolina’s tra-jectory of lab-confirmed cases starting to level, but is still increasing.

Trajectory in Percent of Tests Returning Positive Over 14 Days

North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive remains elevated.

Trajectory in Hospitalizations Over 14 Days

North Carolina’s traj-ectory of hospitalizations are increasing, though capacity remains in the health care system.


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