North Carolina Tightens Mask Mandate, Gov Forgets To Wear Mask

Rather than roll back existing re-opening, Gov Cooper decided to tighten mask mandates, because wearing a mask has certainly limited the spread of COVID, right?

Cooper tightens mask mandate as one-fifth of NC counties now coronavirus hotspots

Gov. Roy Cooper reinforced statewide coronavirus restrictions on Monday as a growing number of North Carolina counties are considered hotspots for viral spread.

Less than a week after rolling out a county alert system to illustrate where the virus was spreading fastest, the number of counties in the red zone has doubled from 10 to 20. The number in the orange zone with substantial spread grew from 43 to 46. (snip)

“I have a stark warning for North Carolinians today: We are in danger,” he said during a briefing on the pandemic. “This is a pivotal moment in our fight against coronavirus. Our actions now will determine the fate of many.” (snip)

“This is a call to arms to the people of North Carolina – we have to pull together to stem the tide,” Cooper said.

Rather than reimposing restrictions that have been eased in recent months, he decided to close loopholes in the statewide mask mandate that he put in place over the summer.

Now, masks must be worn indoors whenever someone not in the same household is present and outdoors whenever physical distancing isn’t possible. The tighter restrictions include requiring masks in private schools and in gyms, even when people are working out, as well as in airports and train and bus stations.

Large businesses must have someone checking that customers are wearing masks and that capacity limits are followed, and law enforcement can cite individuals or businesses for not complying.

Large business means, per the order, those with 15,000 square feet of retail space, meaning a business must dedicate someone as their Mask Police at the door. The mask mandate, as you can see from the first link in the excerpt (you can also read about it here), means that you cannot ever remove your mask inside, be it for working out (where you could remove it while on machines and such, but had to wear while walking around), or in your office, which had been part of previous orders. Good luck understanding people on the phone. And eating. Study after study shows that gyms are safer than other businesses for Bat Soup Virus spread.

And, yes, sicking the police on you

Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said city officials plan to discuss how to handle Cooper’s new executive order.

“We have been proactively monitoring businesses for the past few weeks with our fire marshals and special events staff specifically working with bars and restaurants,” Baldwin said. “Our goal has been voluntary compliance. This order is more focused on retail, so we will look at language and enforcement.”

The order doesn’t lay out the exact penalties, which seems problematic, but, then, he has no statutory authority for that. The duly elected Legislative branch would be the ones to do that.

“The rules need to be enforced,” Cooper said. “We don’t want to go backward [and close businesses again], but we will if necessary.”

Need to enforce the rules, right?

In all fairness, Cooper has been one of the less burdensome governors with his restrictions, and, I suspect he has consulted with the Republican General Assembly leaders, as they have not slapped him for doing things without legislation from the GA.

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