Cooper, state officials extend indoor mask recommendation to all K-12 schools

New executive order asks cabinet agencies to verify vaccination status of employees

Gov. Roy Cooper briefs media at the Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh. Photo via N.C. Dept. of Public Safety

RALEIGH – Gov. Roy Cooper berated individuals who are unvaccinated from COVID-19, saying they make up almost all cases of sick and hospitalized at a press briefing from the Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh.

That led Cooper and state health officials to update the Strong Schools NC Public Health Toolkit to recommend universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. The recommendations are not requirements according to the new document.

Following that announcement, he also said he was encouraging private businesses to enact similar measures.

In a new executive order, Cooper said a new executive order would require cabinet agencies to verify vaccination status of employees, and those unvaccinated would be subject to weekly testing and must wear face masks.

NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen said the last time we had more than 3,000 cases in 24 hours was in February during a data presentation.

During her remarks, she reiterated a new requirement that all workers, volunteers and others at 14 state-run health care facilities must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Sept. 30 unless they qualify for a medical or religious exemption.

Republican House Speaker Tim Moore said in a statement he believes residents should have the ability to make their own decisions without fear of reprisal.

“At the end of the day, the decision whether or not to vaccinate is a personal one and should be made between a doctor and patient,” said Moore. “North Carolinians will not be bullied into being vaccinated against their will.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.