How much longer will masks be required indoors in North Carolina?

CHARLOTTE — Masks have become a part of daily life but many people have told Channel 9 they are ready to be rid of them once and for all.

“I hate this mask for real, especially for people like me that can’t breath real good,” resident Melanie Joseph said. “I hate it but, however, I know it’s to protect.”

Gov. Roy Cooper has lifted the outdoor mask mandate and plans to lift all social distancing and gathering limits on June 1, but said North Carolinians will have to wait until two-thirds of adults get at least one COVID-19 shot for the indoor mask mandate to be repealed.

“It’s been over a year so everybody’s kinda tired of it,” resident Jason Denney said.

Data released Monday show only 50.6% of adults in North Carolina have gotten at least one shot, which is about 8% lower than the national average.

“We’re at about half and I don’t see the masses coming in to get to that number in time,” Moose Pharmacy owner Joe Moose said. “I hope so, I’m tired of wearing a mask indoors. I want to get rid of that mask and get as many people vaccinated as we can.”

Health officials are trying to help vaccine providers get shots into arms across the state. Those providers can now request the number of first doses they want each week from the state and they’ve been instructed to offer more walk-in appointments.

“They don’t need a computer, smart phone -- they just walk-in and we’ll vaccinate them right then,” Moose said.

North Carolina can also request up to 50% more vaccine over their typical allocation from the federal government, but it’s unclear if that has even been necessary.