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The Daily Tar Heel

Indoor mask mandate will be lifted once two-thirds of N.C. adults are vaccinated

Gov. Roy Cooper and First Lady Kristin Cooper announce their victory in the 2020 election on Nov. 3, 2020 on the steps of the N.C. Democratic Party headquarters in Raleigh.

Starting Friday, masks will no longer be required outdoors, and mass gathering limits in N.C. will increase to 100 people indoors and 200 outdoors.

Gov. Roy Cooper said the rest of North Carolina's social distancing, capacity and mass gathering restrictions will likely be lifted by June 1. 

This announcement follows guidance released by the CDC Tuesday, which states that fully vaccinated people don't need to wear masks for many outdoor activities. 

Indoor mask requirements and social distancing and capacity limits are still in place for May, but this is one step toward a full ease in COVID-19 restrictions for the state. 

Once two-thirds of adults in N.C. have received at least one vaccine dose, the indoor mask mandate will also be lifted. 

Currently, about 50 percent of N.C. adults are partially vaccinated, and almost 40 percent are fully vaccinated, according to Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

Cohen said the state now has enough vaccines for everyone to get vaccinated. And, she said, the CDC and FDA have lifted their recommended pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

"They are free. They're widely available across the state, and in many places you don't need an appointment," she said. "All three vaccines are tested, safe and effective."

Find more information about where to receive a COVID-19 vaccine here


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