North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced that effective immediately, North Carolina is lifting all mandatory capacity and gathering limits and social distancing requirements, and easing most mask requirements.
In a major step toward returning to the new-normal, the CDC eased mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people on Thursday, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.
In North Carolina, unvaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to keep wearing masks in public.
Masks will still be required in schools, on public transportation and in healthcare settings.
The CDC’s guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters but it will help clear the way for reopening workplaces, schools, and other venues — even removing the need for social distancing for those who are fully vaccinated.
Cooper had said that his intent had been to keep the state’s current mask mandate in place until two-thirds of adults receive at least one COVID-19 shot.
As of Friday, 45.9 percent of North Carolinians are fully vaccinated, according to NCDHHS. More than 51 percent of the state’s population has received at least one dose.