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Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen announced on June 24, 2020 that North Carolina will remain in Phase 2 for three more weeks.

Governor Cooper also announced that face coverings must be worn when people are in public places as officials seek to stabilize concerning trends of increasing viral spread.

Growing evidence shows that cloth face coverings, when worn consistently, can decrease the spread of COVID-19, especially among people who are not yet showing symptoms of the virus. Until now, face coverings had been strongly recommended.

Under today’s executive order, people must wear face coverings when in public places where physical distancing is not possible.

This masks requirement may prompt more people to commit armed robberies, as it will be easier for criminals to blend in and remain unidentified without suspicion.

Based on the metrics laid out in April 2020 by Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen, North Carolina is evaluating a combination of the data that shows the indicators moving in the wrong direction, causing officials to implement today’s pause in Phase 2 extension and face masks mandate.

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In addition, certain businesses must have employees and customers wear face coverings, including retail businesses, restaurants, personal care and grooming; employees of child care centers and camps; state government agencies under the Governor’s Cabinet; workers and riders of transportation; and workers in construction/trades, manufacturing, agriculture, meat processing and healthcare and long-term care settings.

Governor Cooper says:

“North Carolina is relying on the data and the science to lift restrictions responsibly, and right now our increasing numbers show we need to hit the pause button while we work to stabilize our trends. We need to all work together so we can protect our families and neighbors, restore our economy, and get people back to work and our children back to school.”

North Carolina is averaging more than 17,000 Covid-19 tests a day for the past week. North Carolina labs and labs around the country are seeing supply shortages for laboratory chemicals needed to process tests.

Dr. Mandy Cohen, NCDHHS Secretary had this to say:

“I know North Carolinians are strong, resilient and care deeply about our communities. We pride ourselves on helping our neighbors. The best way we can do that now is by taking the simple action of wearing a face covering that covers your nose and mouth. If we each do our part, we can get back to the people and places we love."