NORFOLK, Va. - The state of Virginia is set to move to Phase Three on July 1.
But North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Wednesday that the state will not be moving to Phase Three Friday as planned, and will mandate the wearing of masks.
North Carolina will remain in Phase Two for at least another three weeks. Cooper says the extra time will benefit healthcare professionals, as it gives them more time to analyze data and trends.
“Public health experts warn that removing restrictions too fast or all at once can cause a dangerous spike in the virus that would overwhelm our medical system,” Cooper said.
With the recent mandate, many people and business fear another quarantine period.
Lee Holland, the franchisee owner of UFC Gym Norfolk, said that another prolonged quarantine would not be ideal.
“It would be really difficult to withstand another quarantine," Holland said. “We rely on monthly memberships and a gym membership is one of the first things people unsubscribe to when finances get tight.”
Holland said that in his personal experience, he sees most people wearing masks. His gym does not require masks for customers.
“In my personal experience, from what I have seen, people are wearing the mask," Holland said. “I have seen a lot of outrage on social media and I think it is the case of the minority opinion getting more exposure than what goes on. We should all be adults - the mask does not pose that much of an issue where we can't deal with it.”
Virginia and North Carolina have the 13th and 14th highest cases of COVID-19 in the country, per the New York Times.