North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper along with NC Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen, speak at a news conference to give COVID-19 updates for the state.

Our state is one step closer to a feeling of normalcy, as Gov. Roy Cooper issued a new executive order Wednesday, saying the North Carolina mask mandate outdoors is lifted, and some mass gathering capacities have been increased.

“Today I am announcing that North Carolina will cautiously ease some restrictions starting Friday, April 30,” Cooper said during his weekly news conference. “Masks will no longer be mandated outdoors. Mass gathering limits will increase to 100 people indoors and 200 outdoors.”

The order does not eliminate the North Carolina mask mandate indoors, but Cooper said he was hopeful that by the end of May, the state would be in a good enough position to have lifted that.

“We hope to go even further when we get at least two-thirds of adults vaccinated with at least one dose. Once we get there and if our trends are stable, we plan to lift the (North Carolina) mask mandate completely,” Cooper said. “Let’s work hard in May and get as many people vaccinated as we can.”

Cooper said that about half of the adults in the state have at least the first vaccine shot (or the single Johnson & Johnson shot), and around 40 percent of adults are fully vaccinated. State officials said the state has administered over 7 million doses.

Go get vaccinated yourself if you haven’t already. You can always find more information at,” Cooper said. “We’ve already shown that North Carolinians are made of tough stuff. Together we are going to get through this.”

The order is also easing up the number of people that constitute a mass gathering. Previously it had been 50 people indoors, and that is now 100. Outdoors is increased from 100 to 200. The limits on occupancy will remain in place, however, and social distancing and masks will still be required indoors.

See complete coverage of COVID-19 here.


Brandon Plotnick is a former sports journalist, now living in the digital space with interests all over the musical and pop culture map.

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