Cooper expected to roll out comprehensive plan next week to slow spread of COVID-19
Governor Roy Cooper told reporters Thursday that wearing a face mask needs to be second nature if we hope to slow down transmission of the coronavirus.
The governor said his team is finalizing details on a plan to be released next week that will help North Carolina get a better handle on the rising number of COVID-19 cases.
That plan will include guidance for businesses and even a few sports celebrities that will help diffuse the notion that wearing a mask takes away one’s personal freedom.
“You’re gonna soon see public service announcements from hockey players and race car drivers and restaurant owners about how important it is for people to wear face coverings,” explained Cooper.
“We gotta remove the politics out of all of this. We gotta realize strong people wear face coverings as a sign of compassion.”
Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen said new research that points to the effectiveness of masks should help convince others to do their part to slow the viral spread.
“I think the more evidence we have helps us understand how we can tailor our actions even further. That’s what we want to be doing, being responsive to the data that just came out this week,” said Dr. Cohen.
Asked why the governor didn’t just issue a statewide order regarding masks this week, he said his office needs time to carefully research the policy.
“You can’t just snap your fingers and say it’s a rule and everybody do it. It’s got to be something that’s well thought through,” said Cooper.
Beginning Friday at 4:00pm, Raleigh will begin requiring people to wear masks when out in public. Durham and Orange County have already put such policies in place.
“You’re also gonna get better results when you can convince people, heart and soul, that this is a good thing to do.”
The governor’s appeal encouraging face coverings and social distancing came as the state legislature gave final approval to SB 599, a measure that would allow bowling alleys and skating rinks to reopen, further increasing places the public could gather.
To date, North Carolina has had 48,188 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 1,175 death and 875 people hospitalized.