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Cornelius News

Gov. Cooper presser: No statewide mask mandate

Gov. Cooper at 3 pm press conference Aug. 18

Aug. 18. By Dave Yochum. Starting a 3 pm press conference by announcing 5,256 new coronavirus cases since yesterday and 2,930 related hospitalizations, Gov. Roy Cooper nevertheless stopped short of reinstating statewide COVID-19 protocols, universal mask mandates and restrictions on gathering.

He wants North Carolinians to focus on vaccinations, explaining that decisions right now are best made at the local level, he said.


A mask mandate goes into effect at 5 pm today in Charlotte.

Davidson commissioners will vote on the matter tomorrow; Cornelius and Huntersville have opted to not join a Mecklenburg County mask mandate until the county-wide mandate goes into effect in 10 days.

Police would have the authority to enforce a mask mandate; those who do not comply may convicted of a misdemeanor.

Hospitals stressed

Meanwhile, there are 725 COVID patients in North Carolina ICUs, according to Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of NCDHHS.

“The trend is alarming, hospitals are strained,” she said during the press conference.

NCDHHS Secretary Cohen

“It’s imperative that to get this under control for the sake of hospitals,” Cohen said, and vaccines are the best way to do so.

She said all schools should require masks indoors and “not become hot-spots for the virus.”

The acceleration in cases right now is the highest since the pandemic started, Cohen said. With the current rate of increase, the state will pass the January peak in a matter of weeks.

Case rates are highest for those who are 18-24 years old, followed by 24-49 years old, she said.


Cooper said “all options are on the table” around public education in the weeks ahead.

Booster shot update

On a national level, COVID-19 booster shots will be available to fully vaccinated adults 18 years and older starting the week of Sept. 20. They would be eligible for their booster shot eight months after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccines.


“We are putting all our energy and laser focus on the vaccination effort. It is encouraging that our state’s vaccine rate has increased in recent weeks, but we need to double down on that progress,” Cooper said. “If you haven’t gotten vaccinated, make time to get your shot or talk to your doctor today. And throughout it all, never lose sight of our North Carolina’s resilient spirit. We can beat COVID for good.”