Gov. Cooper asks NC agencies, private businesses to make unvaccinated workers wear a mask

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Gov. Roy Cooper is asking for state government agencies and private businesses to have unvaccinated workers wear a mask and be tested as the delta variant rages in North Carolina.

A new executive order from Cooper directs state government cabinet agencies to verify whether their employees are vaccinated. Unvaccinated employees will be tested at least once a week and required to wear a mask.

Unvaccinated people are driving the resurgence, Cooper said. North Carolina reported the most new cases in a single day since late February.

“We are strongly urging other state government agencies and private businesses to, at a minimum, do the same. Many businesses are going a step further and requiring their employees to get vaccinated, and I applaud that,” Cooper said.

If you are not vaccinated, do not be around those who are vaccinated, Dr. Mandy Cohen with the state health department said.

“People who are unvaccinated makeup most all of our cases where people are getting sick and hospitalized. The Delta variant of COVID is even more contagious to those who are not vaccinated. It doesn’t matter your age or race. If you are not vaccinated, you are at great risk,” Cooper said.

The governor said don’t wait to get vaccinated.

“Don’t wait until you or a family member is sick and going on a ventilator. Don’t wait until we run out of hospital beds. Don’t wait until skyrocketing numbers threaten to shut businesses or cancel sports. Don’t wait until you infect someone you love,” Cooper said.

“This vaccine could save your life,” Cooper.

This story will be updated.

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Gov. Roy Cooper said he will discuss the state’s response to the CDC’s new mask recommendations on Thursday along with new ways to boost the state’s vaccination numbers.

Cooper spoke briefly in Nashville on Thursday morning ahead of a planned 3 p.m. press conference with his COVID-19 task force.

As recently as Monday, a spokesperson for Cooper said the governor was “not yet planning any additional statewide measures at this time.”

That same day, the CDC said fully vaccinated Americans who live in areas with “substantial and high” virus transmission should wear masks in indoor public spaces in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said they reviewed new data in recent days that showed fully vaccinated individuals could spread the delta variant more easily than previous versions of COVID-19.

Cooper said the state would report 3,200 new cases of the virus on Thursday.

The last time North Carolina reported more than 3,000 new cases in a day was Feb. 25 with 3,351.

Through the pandemic, North Carolina has reported more than 10,000 new cases multiple times.

In Nashville, Cooper visited a McDonald’s where those being vaccinated received free food from the restaurant.

“Vaccines are our best tool to stop the rising COVID cases and hospitalizations we’re seeing in North Carolina,” said Cooper. “We must all do our part to slow the spread by encouraging people in our community to go out and get a shot.”

The event in Nashville was a collaboration between the Nashville McDonald’s and Nash County Public Health Department.

As of Thursday, 9.7 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in North Carolina, with 57 percent of the adult population fully vaccinated.

This story will be updated.

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