NC Gov Issues Mandatory Mask Order, Slows Opening

The Charlotte Observer reports:

A concerned North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced Wednesday the state will remain in Phase Two for another three weeks while making face coverings mandatory in public. The order that moved the state into Phase 2 on May 22 was scheduled to expire on Friday. It has been extended until July 17.

The mask requirement takes effect Friday at 5 p.m. Cooper said the reason for keeping the state in Phase Two for three more weeks is “because the health experts need that period of time to be able to analyze the data and trends that we are seeing.”

In addition to the rising number of hospitalizations, the number of new reported lab-confirmed cases was 1,721 on Wednesday. That’s the second-highest daily total DHHS has reported since the pandemic began.