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WEB EXCLUSIVE Gov. Roy Cooper is on a mission to #BringSummerBack, y’all. During a press conference on Wednesday, April 21, Cooper said that all mandatory social distancing, capacity and mass gathering restrictions are expected to be lifted by June, thanks to the increased rate of vaccinations in the state (cue live outdoor concerts, dancing in bars and sitting at restos less than six feet apart from your neighbor!).
This means that restrictions limiting capacity at indoor restaurants, bars, concert venues, museums, gyms, movie theaters and other businesses, as well as restrictions on indoor and outdoor social gatherings such as weddings and funerals, could be lifted as soon as June 1. The state anticipates lifting the mask mandate once two-thirds of adult North Carolinians are vaccinated as well.
Currently, almost 50% of NC adults have been at least partially vaccinated, and more than one-third are fully vaccinated (that’s about 6.5 million shots administered statewide). Additionally, President Biden said that, across America, 200 million people have received the COVID-19 vaccination, meeting a goal he set for his administration’s first 100 days.
Once at least two-thirds of adults are vaccinated, Cooper says public health experts believe “we will have enough protection across our communities to be able to live more safely with this virus and begin to put this pandemic behind us.”
All adults ages 16 and up in NC are eligible to get the vaccine (effective as of April 7). Cooper maintains the vaccine is safe, effective and readily available to everyone, and it’s even easier to get the shot now that same-day appointments and walk-ins are allowed.
“Vaccines are the key to moving us forward,” Cooper said in a tweet on Wednesday. “To strengthening our economy. To making sure our children are on track for school now and in the fall. To hugging our loved ones safely. To saving lives.” (In short, do your part and roll up your sleeve if you haven’t already!)
The current phase of Cooper’s reopening plan (more info on that here) is set to expire on April 30; the governor is issuing a new executive order next week outlining restrictions for the month of May.
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