Will the state require face masks in public? 

By on June 18, 2020

That issue dominates Cooper’s June 18 briefing

At a June 18 press briefing dominated by questions about using face masks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Roy Cooper expressed a clear desire for more North Carolina residents to wear the masks in public and suggested that state officials will announce a plan  to try and make that happen sometime next week.

“We need more people to wear masks,” Cooper said. “And we need to figure out the best way to do that…We’ve got to remove the politics from all of this.”

Cooper did say that when he announces whether North Carolina will move into a different phase of re-opening next week (the current “Safer-At-Home” order expires June 26), “we hope to be announcing a comprehensive plan to slow the spread of the virus in North Carolina.”

The June 18 briefing, like many in recent days, comes as the state’s COVID-19 “numbers” continue to elicit expressions of concern from state officials. There were 1,330 new cases reported on Thursday and a record high 857 hospitalizations reported as well.

Given the trends, reporters peppered Cooper with a series of question about mask wearing, including why he doesn’t immediately require it. This week, the Raleigh City Council approved a new measure that will mandate the wearing of face masks in public when social distancing is difficult and that will go into effect on Friday, June 19. Violators, however, will not be punished.

In response to that question, Cooper said that imposing a mask-wearing requirement is complex and would have to take into consideration people who would have to be exempted. But he did say that if such a measure is unveiled, “enforcement is one of the issues we would look at.”

During the briefing, the governor did reveal one new element of the upcoming effort to get more people to wear masks — public service announcements from celebrities and community leaders encouraging citizens to don the cloth face coverings in public.





  • Trashcan Man

    Enforcement is simple. Businesses need to post the requirement to wear a mask and prevent anyone from entering that refuses. A hefty fine for the business and they will find a way to do it. Fine a handful of businesses and on this beach every business will know about it before the sun sets.
    Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Stay away from others. Beats the alternative. And you get to appear to be a respectful, caring human being.

    Thursday, Jun 18 @ 5:14 pm
  • 60s Suzanne

    If Governor Cooper thinks having celebrities’ voices making public service announcements will change anyone’s behavior, I wish him luck. People have read about the 3 Ws for so long, they are just plain choosing not to do them.
    While he’s at it, I would like him to hire a plane pulling a big banner telling tourists to space out at least 3 feet. I am tired of them breathing over my shoulder (no mask) when I am at a cash register. These people have come from states that had phase 2 or Safer at Home restrictions going on while they were home, so why in the world do they think it’s a free for all once they hit Dare County? They must know we still have restrictions too but just choose to ignore them.

    Thursday, Jun 18 @ 8:38 pm
  • anotherobxman

    “face masks in public when social distancing is difficult”
    This language is just infuriating. It is NOT an either or it is wear a mask in ADDITION to social distancing. A mandate to wear a mask in public should be just that, IN PUBLIC. For Cooper who thinks it is complicated, it is NOT. It only becomes “complicated” when you are trying to weasel in many different reasons for people to not wear a mask. There are extremely few people who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons and those persons could easily get a waiver from their doctor.

    Friday, Jun 19 @ 6:16 am
  • Lou Briccant

    Yeah 60s Suzanne, airplane banners to get YOUR wishes across. Nobody has been breathing over your shoulder, you’re just another person there with some deep seeded dislike for tourists. Then there’s Trashcan Man with his desire to fine and penalize businesses, nothing different is going on there than anywhere else, if anything your rates are behind other areas so maybe stop with the sky is falling act?

    Friday, Jun 19 @ 8:21 am
  • Christopher Smith

    Mr. Cooper it’s time to face the facts All the numbers in North Carolina are going up Some a lot worse than others This is what we don’t want make it mandatory to wear face masks or prepare to be voted out You need to listen to your people unlike other governors do the right thing!!!!!

    Friday, Jun 19 @ 2:18 pm
  • Jeff

    All across the country, mostly in blue states and cities.. people who die from causes other than COVID are being counted as ‘COVID deaths’. The tests being used in the early stages were contaminated and/or caused false positives which inflated the numbers and had to be recalled. The death rates predicted by the so called experts at WHO, CDC and The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation were fantastically wrong, predicting 20 times the number of deaths. These are the same people who came up with economy destroying lockdown measures, mask mandates and social distancing(non of which are actual laws). Why you sheep trust these people who have been proven to inept at best and complete criminals at worst, and follow their ‘rules’ is astounding. Trashcan Man.. My Constitutional rights and freedom don’t end where your delusional need for government enforced ‘safety’ begins. If COVID-19 was actually a threat Roy Cooper would’ve stopped the rioting and definitely wouldn’t have marched in a ‘protest’ (neither of which were very social distancing compliant) without a mask on. You can’t have it both ways.

    Saturday, Jun 20 @ 9:33 am
  • Marcus Oquendo

    Mask mandates violate the ADA of they do not have an exception for medical reasons.
    Requiring proof of a medical reason violated the ADA and HIPAA.
    I can not wear a mask. I can’t breathe well wearing them unless I wear one that has exhale vents.
    It is also a fact that in heat and humidity masks do more harm than good.
    Rebel against submission.

    Tuesday, Jun 23 @ 5:52 pm
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    An individual’s medical condition is listed in the Dare County Order as a category exempt from the face covering requirement.

    Wednesday, Jun 24 @ 9:18 am