Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth when you’re out in public. That’s the message from North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and other state officials watching the steady increase of Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. But there is not yet a statewide mandate.
Until there is a vaccine, people will have to learn to live with the virus. And state officials say wearing a mask when in public is the best way to slow the spread while allowing the economy to recover.
In fact, says Secretary Mandy Cohen of the Department of Health and Human Services, new studies are confirming the fact that mask-wearing is highly effective in slowing the spread.
"Recent U.S. and international studies are showing us that face coverings, used by the public all the time, not just when symptoms first appear, could significantly reduce the rate of Covid-19 spread. One study found that face coverings reduced the number of infections by over 78,000 in Italy, and by over 66,000 in New York City between April and May."
Other research, says Cohen, estimates that the daily growth rate of Covid-19 cases in Germany fell by around 40% due to wearing a mask.
Governor Cooper says they’re monitoring trends and will make an announcement early next week about relaxing or retaining restrictions. The current Executive Order expires on June 26th.
Cooper also says he’ll consider making masks mandatory, but for now, they’re studying the issue.