Senate Leader Urges Cooper to Immediately Drop Mask Mandate | Beaufort County Now | Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, says Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, should immediately withdraw his imposed mask mandate.

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Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the Carolina Journal. The author of this post is CJ Staff.

Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham. | Photo: Maya Reagan / Carolina Journal

    Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, says Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, should immediately withdraw his imposed mask mandate.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday said people who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear masks indoors, and social distancing is an option, not an order.

    Cooper, following the CDC's lead, in a news conference Friday, May 14, said he is lifting the indoor mask requirement, though masks will still be required on public transportation and in other settings.

    Said Berger, "The CDC finally formalized what many Americans who think for themselves have been doing for months: Those who are vaccinated should resume their normal way of life, and without masks if they so choose.

    "Imposing personal restrictions on those who pose no public health risk is senseless and will further undermine what trust remains in public health authorities," Berger said in the statement.

    In late April, Cooper said he didn't plan on further easing restrictions until two-thirds of state residents were vaccinated. Getting to that percentage may be impossible, as a good swath of the population refuses to get a vaccine. Cooper implemented the mandate more than a year ago, when much less was known about COVID-19 and a vaccine was still months away. About 46% of adults in North Carolina are fully vaccinated; 51% have gotten at least one dose.

    As of Thursday, May 13, just 4% of North Carolinians tested positive for the virus, and their vaccination status is unknown.
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