Cooper extends NC’s State of Emergency, other COVID-19 measures

RALEIGH, N.C. — Governor Roy Cooper announced on Friday a new executive order that will extend North Carolina’s State of Emergency and several other measures currently in place to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following measures have been extended:

  • State evictions prohibitions
  • Face covering requirements in certain settings such as public transportation, schools, health care and childcare facilities, in accordance with CDC guidance
  • Unemployment Insurance flexibility

The order remains in effect until July 30.

“We are seeing tremendous improvement with fewer cases, hospitalizations, deaths and safety restrictions, but this is no time to hang up a “Mission Accomplished” banner in our fight against the pandemic,” said Gov. Cooper. “We are laser focused on getting more shots in arms, boosting our economy and protecting unvaccinated people from the virus and this Executive Order is essential for those efforts.”

The State of Emergency also remains in place.

State officials said under the State of Emergency, North Carolina has easier access to federal funding including FEMA Public Assistance reimbursements, flexibility for the NC Department of Health and Human Services to increase the number of people authorized to administer vaccines, additional flexibility for tele-health opportunities and for out-of-state licensed workers to practice in North Carolina and other critical services.

This comes a day after the governor announced the vaccine lottery which will pay out $1 million to four vaccinated North Carolina adults and four $125,000 college scholarships to teens.

”This is your shot at a million. Regardless of who wins, there’s no way to lose,” Cooper said. “A chance at a million dollars is pretty good motivation. But even if your name isn’t drawn, the worst you’ll do is get strong protection from a deadly virus.”

Officials said the state’s vaccination efforts and incentive programs are also organized using tools made available by the State of Emergency.

On Thursday, 464 new COVID-19 cases were reported in North Carolina. The percent of positive tests in the state is at 1.8%, which is the lowest since the start of the pandemic. Currently, 548 people across the state are hospitalized with COVID-19. Sixteen more deaths were reported on Thursday and 50% of the adult population is fully vaccinated.

The governor said state health officials will continue to monitor North Carolina’s trends and review actions of other states and plan to continue lifting restrictions as more people are vaccinated and the state winds down pandemic response efforts.

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Parents upset over Cooper leaving mask mandate in place

After Friday’s order was announced, Channel 9 learned that many parents are upset about Gov. Roy Cooper leaving the state mask requirement in place. Some school boards are even considering getting rid of their requirements despite the order.

“It is my firm belief that anything that goes into or onto my body or the bodies of my children should never be mandatory,” one parent said.

Summer is just starting, but many students will still be in the classroom to catch up.

The odds of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools defying the governor’s order are slim to none, but the same can’t be said in districts across the state.

Harnett County became the first school district in North Carolina to say masks are optional this summer.

Even if the mask mandate is lifted in schools, many people said they will probably still choose to wear them.

“We really don’t know what they are doing in their homes, like what their parents are doing. I think it is best they keep them on,” parent Ingrid Faulkner said.

Channel 9 reached out to the governor’s office to see if Harnett County will face any repercussions, but have not heard back.