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Cornelius News

Cooper will lift most COVID-19 restrictions by June 1

Gov. Roy Cooper at 2 pm press conference April 21

April 21. By Dave Yochum. With plentiful vaccine supplies, Gov. Roy Cooper this afternoon said he is planning to lift most COVID-19 restrictions by June 1, including social distancing and restrictions on indoor dining, bars and concert venues.

But not the mask mandate.

“Until enough of us are protected by the vaccine, we need to keep protecting each other,” NC Dept. of Health & Human Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said during a 2 pm press conference today.

After June 1 the mask mandate would most likely only apply to people in public places indoors.

Vaccines are key

Dr. Mandy Cohen, NCDHHS secretary

Cohen said vaccinations are the key to beating the pandemic and ultimately lifting the mask mandate.

“If we keep working at get to at least two-thirds having at least one shot, we could possibly lift the mask mandate,” said Cohen.

Right now only about 35 percent of eligible North Carolinians have received both doses of the vaccines. More than 76 percent of people 65 and older have had at least one shot.

“Vaccines are our way out of this pandemic,” Cohen said.

New executive order coming

A new executive order is expected next week; today’s press conference was a heads up.

The current order limits most outdoor gatherings to 100 people and indoor gatherings to 50 people.

Retail establishments can operate at full capacity, while restaurants are limited to 75 percent indoors.

Bars, concert venues and sports arenas are limited to 50 percent.