Gov. Roy Cooper says North Carolinians can drop the mask outside -- but not inside

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Wednesday, April 28, 2021
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NC moves a step closer to reopening with Gov. Roy Cooper's announcement to drop the outdoor mask mandate in most cases.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- In a Wednesday afternoon update, Gov. Roy Cooper dropped the requirement for wearing masks outdoors in North Carolina.

As of April 30, masks will no longer be required outdoors.

Masks indoors will still be required. North Carolina's mask mandate went into effect in late June.

Gov. Cooper said he will lift the indoor mask mandate once two-thirds of NC adults are at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19.

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"Right now, about half of our adults are partially vaccinated and almost 40 percent are fully vaccinated.," said Cooper. "This is great progress. But to get to two-thirds, we need everybody to work on this. Tell your loved ones why it's safe and easy. Give them a ride if they need it."

The announcement follows the latest CDC guidance saying fully vaccinated people don't have to wear masks outside, unless in a crowd.

RELATED: CDC issues new outdoor face mask guidance for fully vaccinated people

The governor also announced indoor gatherings can increase to 100 people and outdoor gatherings to 200.

"While our numbers are mostly stable, we have more work to do to beat back this pandemic," said Governor Cooper. "Let's work hard in May and get as many people vaccinated as we can before summer gets here."

WATCH: Gov. Cooper lifts outdoor mask mandate

Larger venues such as PNC Arena can apply to get approval for higher capacity and approvals will be on a case by cases basis.

"Following these protocols along with getting vaccinated will get us through this and will lead to easing even more restrictions on June 1," said Gov. Cooper.

NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said North Carolina is holding steady when it comes to COVID-19 metrics. While the state is holding steady, Dr. Cohen said NCDHHS is not seeing the desired decline in metrics.

"If we work together to get vaccinated and keep cases down we can drop restrictions on June 1 and that is our first goal and first step to bring summer back," said Dr. Cohen.

You're fully vaccinated. When can you drop the mask?

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