Masks off? Gov. Cooper to announce changes to COVID-19 executive orders on Friday

North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Gov. Roy Cooper is expected to announce changes to COVID-19 executive orders Friday afternoon – a day after the CDC announced sweeping changes to its mask recommendations.

Sources tell CBS 17 that Cooper is expected to make changes to capacity, distancing and masking requirements, as well as lifting a number of COVID-19 related restrictions.

The CDC said Thursday it is easing mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.

Following the CDC’s announcement, Cooper was asked about the state’s indoor mask mandate – something he said would be dropped if two-thirds of adults get at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot.

Cooper said at its current pace, the indoor mask mandate could remain in place into July.

“That’s the plan right now, we’re going to continue to examine the data and the science and consult with health care officials before making further decisions,” the governor said.

As of Thursday, 51 percent of adults in North Carolina have at least one dose, 45.5 percent are fully vaccinated.

In late April, Cooper said he planned to lift mandatory social distancing, capacity and mass gathering restrictions by June 1.

The CDC’s new guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons, and homeless shelters, but it will help clear the way for reopening workplaces and schools.

Early Friday, Cooper’s office announced he would speak about changes to executive orders at 1:30 p.m.

Details on those changes were not immediately available.

You can watch his remarks on CBS 17 or cbs17.com.

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