Indoor mask mandate to remain in place for now, Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin says

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Friday, December 17, 2021
Coronavirus NC: Latest updates on COVID-19 in North Carolina
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Coronavirus NC: Latest updates on COVID-19 in North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Raleigh's mask mandate is staying in place, ABC11 has learned.

Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin previously said she was contemplating making changes to it, but after discussion with city council members and staff, she decided to keep it as is.

"You don't relax it when cases are going up," Baldwin said. "So we missed our window of opportunity."

In an interview last week, she said the city was looking at relaxing part of it specifically for gym goers after numerous complaints that people were not going to come back to a gym until there was no mandate.

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She also thought about it after hearing from small business owners that people were going to neighboring towns to shop where there are no indoor mask mandates.

"All of this is about balance and trying to balance public health also with people's needs and our business owners," she said. "Large and small businesses are also suffering."

She said she and her team will be monitoring cases over the holidays alongside public health officials.

In the meantime she's urging people to get vaccinated and get tested before going to family gatherings.

"No one is telling you don't go out or don't go see your family," Baldwin said. "What we're saying is 'Be responsible,' and the more of that we do, the quicker we can get back to some sense of normalcy."