North Carolina county, city order indoor face mask mandate

DURHAM, N.C. — (AP) — Face coverings will be required again within all indoor public places, businesses and establishments in Durham County and the city of Durham due to the rapidly spreading coronavirus, government officials announced on Saturday.

City and county leaders issued a new state of emergency that takes effect at 5 p.m. Monday. The face mask mandate also applies to those who are fully vaccinated.

Gov. Roy Cooper’s statewide mask mandate ended July 30, but that doesn’t prevent local governments from approving restrictions, including school systems.

The highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19 has helped raise dramatically the number of cases and hospitalizations nationally statewide. There were 4,500 new cases reported in North Carolina on Friday, according to state health data. More than 1,700 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized statewide as of Thursday — over double the number from two weeks earlier.

“Our local cases have grown exponentially over the last weeks and instituting a mask mandate is once again necessary to contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect yourself and our vulnerable neighbors,” Durham Mayor Steve Schewel said in a news release.

The Durham city and county mask mandate provides several exceptions, such as for small children and people who shouldn’t wear one due to a medical condition.

(Watch Below: CDC recommends vaccinated people wear masks in areas of ‘high transmission’)