JACKSONVILLE, N.C (WNCT) – Jacksonville Mayor Sammy Phillips has lifted the state of emergency in Jacksonville for COVID-19.

This move follows Governor Roy Cooper’s announcement to rescind the state of emergency in North Carolina. The City of Jacksonville will return to pre-COVID meeting guidelines and pre-COVID protocols with minor exceptions.

People attending meetings for public comment or presenting to the City Council are welcome to do so in-person. The City will no longer be providing virtual options for Council and Committee members or virtual public comment options for Council meetings.

As Jacksonville gets back to normal, Mayor Sammy Phillips wants to remind people to stay vigilant and make informed choices about their health and safety. The use of masks have been encouraged when entering City buildings, but will no longer be required. Masks will be required when using passport services in City Hall or the Center for Public Safety because of the extended time of exposure during service.

“As our community recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we mourn those lost.  I urge Citizens to continue to follow the steps to keep everyone healthy and safe,” Mayor Sammy Phillips said. “Wear your mask where you feel you need it, avoid going to work or school while sick, and watch out for your neighbors and those who are vulnerable.”  According to the CDC, close to 400 deaths in Onslow County have been attributed to COVID-19.