Cooper says many COVID restrictions could be lifted by June 1

By on April 21, 2021

Gov. Roy Cooper

Stating that “we continue to make progress turning the corner on the pandemic,” Governor Roy Cooper provided a glimpse of the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel at an April 21 press briefing.

If the COVID data trends remain good and more people continue to get vaccinated, Cooper stated that current capacity, social distancing and mass gathering restrictions could be lifted by June 1.  North Carolina Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen described it as “lifting most of the executive order-related restrictions” by that date.

One rule that would not be completely lifted is the mask-wearing mandate, but Cooper did say that, “After June 1, we hope that the mask mandate would only be required for people in public places indoors.”

The main theme of the press briefing was a push for more people to get vaccinated in the state. Officials reported that about half of all adults in North Carolina have been vaccinated to date, with the goal to vaccinate two-thirds of all adults as quickly as possible. As part of that vaccine push, Cohen said that starting in May, the state will implement a public information campaign called “Bringing Summer Back: Get Out the Vaccine.”

Once two-thirds of the state’s adults are vaccinated, she added, “We can get back to the summer activity we all love.”

And while acknowledging that COVID hospitalizations have increased somewhat in recent days as has the percentage of positive COVID tests, the outlook from Cooper and Cohen at the press briefing was distinctly upbeat, with Cooper offering a standard caveat. “Although we are making progress,” he said, “we haven’t beaten COVID-19 yet.”

Dare County

Update: The Dare County Department of Health and Human Services reported 4 cases of COVID-19 on April 21. In addition, it reported that 9 county residents who had been characterized as having active cases are now considered recovered,  leaving 21 county residents currently with active cases.

Statewide NC coronavirus numbers on April 21

  • Total reported NC cases – 952,529
  • New cases reported today – 1,963
  • Reported deaths – 12,480 (43 since yesterday)
  • Currently hospitalized 1,168 (2 fewer than yesterday)
  • Suspected COVID-19 cases hospitalized in past 24 hours – 148 (22 more than yesterday)
  • Confirmed COVID-19 case hospitalized in past 24 hours – 162 (24 more than yesterday)
  • Adults in ICU with COVID-19 – 285 (1 less that than yesterday)
  • Patients presumed to be recovered – 911,719
  • Reported cases in Dare, Currituck and Hyde Counties – 5,237 (Dare 3,081, Currituck 1,487, Hyde 669)
  • Completed tests – 12,021,825
  • Daily percent positive tests – 7.0%
  • Vaccine doses administered – 6,594,886

Note: Every morning, the NC Department of Health and Human Services posts updates the number of reported cases of coronavirus. That number reflects positive results from all tests, including the NC State Laboratory of Public Health and all hospital and commercial labs. There may be other reports, from the media and elsewhere, that will include different numbers during a given day, but this is an effective way of tracking numbers from the same source on a day-to-day basis.


Link to COVID-19 North Carolina Dashboard





  • Ace

    Gee thanks. That means we get some of our God-Given rights back? Thanks, Gub’ner.

    Wednesday, Apr 21 @ 4:13 pm
  • Sandman

    About time…

    Wednesday, Apr 21 @ 7:58 pm
  • Just Sayin

    Including wearing masks everywhere? Or is that a forever thing now?

    Thursday, Apr 22 @ 5:00 am
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    Just, as the story indicates, there could even be some lifting of the mask mandate on June 1 as well.

    Thursday, Apr 22 @ 9:47 am
  • Dethrol

    The legislature needs to get involved immediately. Revoke the power to establish and maintain an endless “State of Emergency”. The conditions that supported the original pronouncement have not existed for many months. There was never a point in time where hospitals in North Carolina operated at even 70% of their capacity, including those who were hospitalized for the virus as well as for conditions and reasons unrelated to the virus. There is more than enough medication, PPE, and awareness of the vulnerable segments of the population. Enough is enough. Stanford University (you know, the scientists) published a study and the CDC placed it on their website that stated, unequivocally, that masks are ineffective and potentially harmful. The legislature needs to override this abuse of power and establish laws that require the governor (regardless of political party) to obtain approval through the legislative process for each and every application and extension of executive authority under any State of Emergency.

    Thursday, Apr 22 @ 11:01 am
  • Mike P

    To correct the incorrect:
    The Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, Wednesday issued a statement disavowing a study being circulated online that claims face masks are “worthless” against COVID-19.
    The report, “Facemasks in the COVID-19 era: A health hypothesis,” was published in November in the journal Medical Hypotheses. Its author, Baruch Vainshelboim, claims that “scientific evidence supporting facemasks’ efficacy is lacking” while “adverse physiological, psychological and health effects are established.”
    Vainshelboim’s credentials are cited as “Cardiology Division, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System/Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, United States.”

    But Stanford’s statement says that description is inaccurate and has asked for a correction.

    Stanford says Vainshelboim had no affiliation with the school at the time of the study’s publication and his only affiliation was a one-year term as a visiting scholar “on matters unrelated to this paper.”


    Thursday, Apr 22 @ 4:36 pm
  • Manns Harbor man

    I don’t have any faith in the reliability of State or Federal claims that masks are still required. Several States have strictly limited the times and locations for mandatory masks and I haven’t seen anything to justify the continuation of mask use.

    Friday, Apr 23 @ 9:21 am
  • Obxkdh

    Does anyone else think it is silly to wear a mask in a restaurant….for 30 seconds…until you sit down?
    I have always complied with COVID restrictions and rules, but wearing a mask into and out of a restaurant and taking it off for the duration of your meal or beverages makes zero sense to me.
    Anyone else agree?

    Saturday, Apr 24 @ 10:03 am
  • steve

    @ Obxkdh…wearing a mask for 10 seconds in a restaurant is like having a designated area of the pool to pee in.

    How about worry less about masks and more about getting people back to work and stop with the unemployment checks. I know restaurant people who are on unemployment while 99% of restaurants and begging for people to work. It is shameful for what are govt has done.

    Monday, Apr 26 @ 12:07 pm
  • OBWon

    Masks are becoming something of compliance performance ‘art’ at this point. Case in point, the note above about walking in and out of a restaurant with a mask on but with 99% of the time there without as you dine. That serves no functional purpose other than performance. The recent MIT study has shown – if you are in an indoor space for extended time, with regards to coronavirus – there is no effective difference between 6 and 60 ft and masks actually help warm and push the exhaled air up which further facilitate its travel throughout the space. We’re at the point where anyone who wants to get the vaccine can…so it becomes now about personal choice and responsibility. If you choose to go out to eat for instance and want to wear a mask, it’s your choice. If you don’t, that’s also your choice. For the very very small fraction of individuals who cannot get the vaccine for some medical reason and are in a high risk category – they can take personal safeguards similar to how those with extreme environmental allergies do currently.

    Tuesday, Apr 27 @ 7:06 am
  • A to the B

    @OBWon, steve and Obxkdh – kinda like the Pres, VP and all the other fully vaccinated public servants parading around with 2 masks, even when nobody else is near them (think the White House lawn) or sitting 12 feet away from a (fully vaccinated) journalist whilst being interviewed. It’s all a show. If they want people to get on board with the vaccinations (I’m fully vaccinated and glad to be), they should pull the damn silly masks off and start showing people what they have to look forward to. Hope the choir appreciated my sermon..

    Tuesday, Apr 27 @ 1:53 pm
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