RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) — Gov. Roy Cooper on Monday lifted North Carolina’s COVID-19 State of Emergency that has been in place for more than two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Cooper’s office released a press statement announcing the news along with a link to the executive order ending the State of Emergency, which has been in place since March 10, 2020. The memo reads:
Today, Governor Roy Cooper ended the state’s COVID-19 State of Emergency. With vaccines, treatments, and other tools to combat COVID-19 widely available, and with new legislation now providing the requested flexibility to North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and health care providers to continue to respond, the state is poised to continue comprehensive pandemic response without the need for the State of Emergency.
Many of the state’s public health measures combatting the pandemic had previously been lifted, but the State of Emergency continued to allow the distribution of vaccines and tests and regulatory flexibility to ensure staff capacity in the state’s healthcare system. Following legislative changes made in the budget signed by Gov. Cooper in July that allow NCDHHS to continue to respond to the pandemic, the State of Emergency can be lifted.
The state of emergency was put into place as the coronavirus pandemic spread and after a federal emergency was called due to the pandemic. With the move, cities and towns in North Carolina can begin to rescind their own State of Emergency proclamations.
The City of Jacksonville was among those areas that issued separate orders to rescind their State of Emergency declarations. Jacksonville had its order in place since March 18, 2020, officials said in the statement.
“The pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to our state and people now have the knowledge and the tools like vaccines, boosters and therapeutic treatments to keep them safe,”Cooper said. “Executive orders issued under the State of Emergency protected public health and helped us save lives and livelihoods. North Carolina is emerging even stronger than before and my administration will continue to work to protect the health and safety of our people.”
“COVID-19 is still with us, and North Carolinians now have multiple ways to manage the virus, so it doesn’t manage us,” said NCDHHS Secretary Kody H. Kinsley. “NCDHHS will remain focused on COVID-19 trends and data and ensuring we stay prepared.”