Some North Carolinians not ready to ditch the mask as mandate changes Friday

Coronavirus

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- North Carolina’s mask mandate is being eased again. Come Friday, masks won’t be required, if you’re outside.

The big headlines from the new executive order likely won’t mean too much of a difference in life, but it is definitely a symbolic step towards normalcy. People can already be outdoors without masks–if they can social distance–but come Friday, the state says that requirement for social distancing will be removed.

“I really want to be safe,” Mary Anthony said.

On Wednesday, Anthony was one of many enjoying the day out at Freedom Park. She knows she can go without the mask, but, for now, she chooses not to.

“Not enough people got the shots yet,’ Anthony said. “Let’s wait a little longer, and we have a better chance.”

The state, however, says that time might actually be coming up this Friday.

Governor Roy Cooper says that while case counts are up, vaccinations have helped the state get to this point.

Brianna Warren and Jaclyn Garza live in Charlotte. They’re ready for the change.

“It’s just been a long time since we’ve been masks.”

The state says this is not a concession that COVID-19 is coming to an end, though. The indoor mask mandates will remain. They want two-thirds of the state to be vaccinated before that happens. Some feel the timeline, for now, is right.

“I feel like it’s going to be right on time.”

While others, despite the state moving forward, are ready for the long haul.

“I’m going to wear mine until the end of the year,” Anthony said. ”That’s how I feel.”

The next step is June 1.  The governor says he plans on easing capacity requirements then, provided covid case counts and vaccinations remain steady and stable. It’s worth emphasizing that he is not promising that just yet, but he says it is a goal the state can achieve.

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