RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday that he plans to lift most pandemic-related restrictions by June 1.
Cooper said trends remain stable though some have seen increases over the last couple of weeks, such as hospitalizations.
“The fact that our numbers aren’t yet declining reminds us how important it is to stay vigilant,” Cooper said.
He said he plans to issue an executive order next week outlining safety restrictions for May.
“With increasing vaccinations and ongoing work to slow the spread, I anticipate we’ll be able to lift all mandatory social distancing, capacity and mass gathering restrictions by June 1,” he said.
Dr. Mandy Cohen with the state health department said masks will still be needed after many other restrictions are lifted.
The governor said he wants two-thirds of adults in the state to have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.
“As of today, almost half of adults have had at least one shot and more than a third are fully vaccinated. For our more vulnerable age 65 and older population, almost 77 percent have had at least one shot and more than 71 percent are fully vaccinated. That’s great news,” Cooper said.
Cohen said the mask mandate could be lifted if two-thirds of adults receive at least one dose of a vaccine and if trends remain stable.
“If you are 16 and older, it is your turn to join the more than 3.6 million North Carolinians who have already taken their first shot. It’s up to you to get us to the two thirds goal as quickly as possible so we can live with this virus and begin to put this pandemic behind us,” Cohen said.
In Raleigh, the City’s restrictions will align with the state’s.
“We are starting to open up and I think that’s good news for businesses, especially those who have been really hurt, during this recession, our hospitality industry and restaurants, we want to see people back enjoying downtown,” Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said.