‘Not the right time’: Raleigh mayor to keep mask mandate in place

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Raleigh’s mayor announced Friday the city’s mask mandate will remain in place as COVID-19 numbers begin to trend upward again.

“After reviewing local data and national trends, I have decided that now is not the right time to relax the mask mandate,” Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said Friday.

During a Dec. 8 conversation with CBS 17, Baldwin said she was looking at the possibility of removing the mandate for gyms and small businesses.

At the time of those discussions, hospitalizations and positive cases were declining.

“The COVID spike after the Thanksgiving holiday, combined with concerns over the omicron variant, require that we must remain cautious,” Baldwin said. “We expect an additional spike after residents participate in Christmas and New Year’s celebrations – a trend we have witnessed after every holiday since the pandemic began.”

Baldwin issued a city-wide mask mandate at the height of the COVID-19 delta variant wave in mid-August. 

“We must continue to take this pandemic seriously,” she said.

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