Triangle health experts advise caution as events roll out soon across NC

North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Right now, less than half of the state is vaccinated and in a little over a month, people will be able to go to events and gatherings without many requirements in North Carolina.

Jennifer Martin with Shop Local Raleigh is ready to bring back festivities.

“Get people back out, people back out having fun, helping to stimulate our local economy and giving people ways to connect again,” said Martin, executive director of Shop Local Raleigh.

They put on events like the beer festival “Brewgaloo” and the Raleigh Christmas Parade.

“There is so much demand; Our community loves events,” said Martin.

She said they’re planning events to start as soon as June. You can find updates on their website or social media.

Even though there will no longer be mandatory social distancing, capacity, or mass gathering limits come June 1, Shop Local Raleigh plans to keep some in place.

“We want to do our part to do what we can to help everyone feel comfortable in this next chapter of our journey of coming back,” said Martin.

Masks will still likely be required indoors until the state reaches herd immunity, which isn’t expected to be done by June 1.

“Outdoors is really a pretty safe place to be, especially if you’re not within a few feet of another person. Sunlight is a disinfectant, and the virus does not transmit effectively in outdoor settings,” said Dr. Thomas Holland, associate professor of infectious disease at Duke University.

Dr. Holland said if a substantial number of people are not vaccinated and COVID-19 is still in the community, the risk remains. It’s the worst at indoor events that aren’t well-ventilated.

“If I were not vaccinated, I would not be comfortable being out at a public gathering with other folks for me or for my family,” he said.

He urges everyone to get their shot and to keep safety in mind regardless. That way, we can get back to normalcy.

“That’s our hope and goal for these events and the reopening of North Carolina is this is not only our comeback story but everyone else’s comeback story as well,” said Martin.

The governor plans to give more details next week on what the restrictions will look like for May.

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