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NC Coronavirus Task Force Speaks Up About Enforcing Mask Mandate

On Thursday, the North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Task Force held a press conference. The officials stressed the importance of wearing a mask. In June, Governor Cooper issued a mandatory mask requirement for all of North Carolina.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Task Force reiterated in the conference on Thursday; North Carolinians should wear a face-covering to help fight the coronavirus spread. The governor and the task force asked for law enforcement’s assistance to help communicate the importance of wearing masks/face coverings to North Carolina citizens.

The face mask mandate is enforceable by law. According to the executive order, businesses may receive citations and other penalties if all employees and their customers do not wear face coverings. 

“We are making progress, and I’m encouraged, but we have to keep working to fight the disease,” Gov. Cooper said. Cooper explained that the Department of Public Safety would be sharing direction to law enforcement across the state, and on our college campuses, the importance of the face mask order and limits on large gatherings.

Gov. Cooper added, “While no one wants violations to end in arrests, it’s important for the health and safety of our communities that we all do our part.”

Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, gave a presentation showing a decline in new COVID-19 cases in North Carolina. She added, “Hospitalizations are level.”

Cohen said, “This progress is fragile.” 

She continued, “We will continue this hard-fought progress with our three small acts of kindness. Our three W’s: Wearing a face covering, waiting six-feet apart, and washing your hands. Wear. Wait. Wash.”

After Dr. Cohen’s presentation, Secretary of North Carolina Public Safety, Eric Hooks, took the platform. He said, “What we want to take, is really, a community-oriented policing strategies. Where we encourage people in the communities, we encourage businesses to voluntarily comply with the law. But we also want to engage law enforcement so that they can educate people out in the public, people in businesses, and then occasionally they may have to enforce the law. But we are not asking people go out and arrest people, but we are asking that if you have to take enforcement action, there are mechanisms available to you, such as a citation.”

Some Bladen County citizens have questioned the importance of wearing a face covering. Recently the Wall Street Journal published an article on scientific evidence related to wearing a mask to prevent disease. 

The article published a quote by Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stating he believes the pandemic could be brought under control over the next four to eight weeks if “we could get everybody to wear a mask right now.” 

The CDC also published a video and information about the 1918 Flu Pandemic. 

The CDC’s website states, “The 1918 influenza pandemic was the most severe pandemic in recent history. Mortality was high in people younger than 5 years old, 20-40 years old, and 65 years and older. The high mortality in healthy people, including those in the 20-40 year age group, was a unique feature of this pandemic.”

The CDC and the Archives.gov published photos and information showing masks were worn by many healthcare providers and business employees to protect against the flu pandemic. 

View the CDC’s video and photos about the flu pandemic below. 

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