RALEIGH, NC (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – As the country heads into its second holiday season in a global pandemic, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper expressed hope that 2021 will be different than last year.
Even with the emergence of the Omicron Variant, Cooper doesn’t expect any new executive orders or mandates.
“We don’t anticipate any additional restrictions at this point,” Cooper said.
Cooper and Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen gave an update on the state’s fight against COVID-19 on Tuesday.
Cohen, who also announced she would be stepping down from her post at the end of the year, announced that more than 70% of people over 18 in North Carolina have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccines.
She also encouraged people to get their booster shots.
“We haven’t seen the new variant here in North Carolina, nor in the United States, but we believe it is already here,” said Cohen. “So the time to act is now for vaccinations.”
The CDC has downgraded the state to the substantial, or “Orange” level, of community transmission.
New data from the state shows COVID cases have leveled off.
However, Cohen warned the latest numbers are incomplete due to the fact that testing during the Thanksgiving holiday period dropped off dramatically.
“I think we are all concerned, looking at the early data from other countries, seeing that it, potentially, could be more contagious,” Cohen said.
“It doesn’t, in early data, look like it is more severe. So, that is good news.”