Gov. Cooper: State will stay in phase two of reopening; face coverings will be required

Governor Cooper discussed coronavirus response Wednesday

RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - The state will remain in phase 2 of reopening for an additional three weeks and facemasks will become a requirement for most of the public, Gov. Roy Cooper said.

The newest order goes into effect at 5 p.m. Friday, June 26.

Cooper announced that the public “must wear face coverings when in public places, indoors or outdoors, where physical distancing of 6 feet from other people who aren’t in the same household or residence isn’t possible.”

“Overwhelming evidence that is growing by the week shows that wearing a face covering can greatly reduce the spread of COVID-19, especially from people who have it and don’t know it yet,” Cooper said. “This is a simple way to control this virus while we protect ourselves & the people around us.”

Cooper said that face coverings will be required for all employees and customers of retail stores and restaurants as well as workers in manufacturing, construction, meat processing and agriculture.

The governor said businesses can be cited for not having employees and customers wearing facemasks. Also, if a customer is told to wear a mask in a business and refuses, law enforcement can cite the customer and remove that person from the business.

Among those excluded from the mask requirements are people with medical conditions, children under 11, and people who are walking or otherwise exercising outside when not within six feet of others.

“We’re adding this new requirement because we don’t want to go backward. We want to stabilize our numbers so we can continue to safely ease restrictions, and most importantly, get our children back in school,” Cooper said.

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