GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – “I’ve seen the older generation wearing masks. As far as my generation, I haven’t seen anyone wearing masks and using safety precautions,” said Christopher Nash, East Carolina University student.
The state is reopening. Restrictions are being lifted and people across the east say that’s leading to a change in safe behavior.
“It’s been more relaxed than what people probably want. When I was in New Bern the other day, people are out more and they’re really not obeying that idea of 6 feet apart,” said Marshall Adams, Greenville resident.
“You also see a split where there are a lot of people who don’t have the mask on. I think its 50 50 here in Greenville,” said Greenville resident, Damien Jenkins.
Experts said that’s a factor in recent spikes in cases. Saturday’s statewide record for biggest one-day case total, 1,370. Monday, Pitt County is seeing its cases rise by 56.
“Our numbers are going up and the number of cases we’re seeing the hospitals are going up,” said Dr. Paul Cook.
Dr. Cook is the Chief of Infectious Diseases at ECU’S Brody School of Medicine. Cook said numbers are going up, in part, because of more testing.
“This was predictable. It doesn’t mean someone has done something wrong,” Cook said.
Dr. Cook is also seeing people relax on wearing masks and social distancing including at public protests.
“There is potential for us to see a lot of COVID cases in this community. It is pretty serious and I think that’s likely to happen throughout the country and throughout the world,” he said.