7/30/2021 6:52:00 AM Cooper, Biden Issue New Orders Cooper says school boards need to reconsider mask rules based on current situation
Wayne Howard Staff Writer
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper stopped short of issuing a new mask mandate for schools on Thursday (July 29th) but he did urge school systems in the state to reconsider their decisions not to require masks. Cooper said the decisions were largely made based on the numbers of new cases over the last several weeks, "but all that has changed."
North Carolina reported 3268 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday--the biggest number for a single day since February. The 'fourth wave' is sweeping the country with new cases increasing significantly in every state. The worst increases are in the southern states, where a majority of the population remains unvaccinated. Florida, California and Texas saw the biggest increases, but North Carolina isn't far behind. Florida has averaged over 14,000 new cases daily the last two weeks; California, over 8,000; Texas, nearly 8,000. Georgia has averaged 2843 new cases daily and North Carolina, now #5 in most new cases over the last 14 days, has avaged 2144.
For the las two weeks, Lincoln County has averaged 24 new cases daily (38 on Thursday); Cleveland County, 24; Catawba County, 26; and Gaston County, 56. Catawba County issued its weekly update Wednesday, showing 132 new cases since last Wednesday.
President Biden also held a news conference Thursday in which he announced that all federal workers will have to be vaccinated or wear masks and face weekly testing and social distancing requirements.
Cooper issued a similar order (Executive Order #224) for North Carolina.
State government employees of cabinet agencies will have to get vaccinated or they'll be required to wear a mask and be tested at least once a week.
Biden defended the CDC's flip-flop on masks and his own statement in late May that those who had been vaccinated no longer needed to wear one. "That was true then" he said, "but obviously, things have changed."
School Boards in Lincoln, Gaston, Catawba and Cleveland counties have said that wearing masks--vaccinated or not--will be purely voluntary in the coming school year.
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