N.C. Gov. Cooper announces stricter mask mandate order; Extends 10 person gathering limit order until Dec. 11

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Posted at 2:34 PM, Nov 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-23 16:40:19-05

Governor Cooper announced a stronger mask mandate order as North Carolina continues to report record-high COVID-19 numbers.

As of Monday there are now 320,990 PCR positive cases and 18,204 antigen positive cases, totaling 339,194 total positive cases. The state has also seen over 5,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Due to the state's metrics, Cooper announced during Monday's briefing a tighter statewide mask requirement.
"I have a stark warning for North Carolinians today: We are in danger," Governor Cooper said. "This is a pivotal moment in our fight against the coronavirus. Our actions now will determine the fate of many."

A mask mandate has been in effect since June, but Cooper says Monday's order makes it clear that everyone needs to wear a mask whenever you are with someone you don’t live with.

A mask must now be worn around friends, families, and all businesses at all time.

The Order also adds the mask requirement to several additional settings including any public indoor space even when maintaining 6 feet of distance; gyms even when exercising; all schools public and private; and all public or private transportation when travelling with people outside of the household.

The order also strengthens the role of businesses ensuring all employees and customers are following the mask mandate. During Monday's briefing, Cooper says there will be enforcement set to make sure there is compliance.

The Order also requires large retail businesses with more than 15,000 square feet to have an employee stationed near entrances ensuring mask wearing and implementing occupancy limits for patrons who enter.

This order, along with 10 person gathering limit, will be extended through December 11.