Gov. Cooper lifting outdoor mask mandate, changing mass gather limits

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Gov. Roy Cooper announced Wednesday that masks will no longer be mandated outdoors beginning Friday.

Executive Order No. 209 increases the number of people who may gather indoors from 50 to 100 and outdoors from 100 to 200.

Occupancy limits currently in place will remain the same.

The new executive order includes a provision where large event venues, such as sports arenas, can submit a request and safety plan to the state for a waiver of spacing/capacity limit.

“We hope to go even further when we get at least two-thirds of adults vaccinated with at least one dose. Once we get there and if our trends are stable, we plan to lift the mask mandate completely. Let’s work hard in May and get as many people vaccinated as we can,” he said.

As of Wednesday, 48.7 of adults in North Carolina are partially vaccinated, almost 40 percent are fully vaccinated.

Cooper said the state has safe and effective vaccines available for every adult in North Carolina at no cost.

“In addition to indoor masks, many of our strong safety requirements remain in place for public places, including social distancing and capacity limits, which are important,” he said.

Dr. Mandy Cohen with the state health department said when two-thirds adults in the state have received at least one shot, the indoor mask mandate will be lifted.

This story will be updated.

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