HENDERSON COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) – Backyard gatherings, public firework shows and parades. Those are all things North Carolina’s Governor Roy Cooper announced Wednesday, could be in the not-so-distant future if COVID cases remain stable and vaccination rates continue to climb.
A sense of anticipation and excitement for a longtime business owner in downtown Hendersonville.
“I don’t think we should have that fear factor anymore, just be aware of others’ needs and I think we’re going to have a great year, and it will help business,” said Owner of Narnia Studios, Barbara Hughes.
She’s getting ready for what she’s expecting to be a busy summer.
Same goes for North Carolina’s Governor, Roy Cooper.
“I anticipate that we will be able to lift all mandatory social distancing, capacity and mass gatherings by June the first,” said North Carolina Governor, Roy Cooper.
He and state health leaders are on a mission to create a more normal summer, compared to 2020. That would still come with safety protocols.
“There will be ongoing safety recommendations for places like camps and summer schools to protect our children from COVID-19,” Dr. Mandy Cohen with North Carolina’s Department of Health & Human Services said during Wednesday’s press conference.
But state health leaders are optimistic about the road ahead, even developing a plan to eventually relax mask mandates.
“If we keep working and can get to at least two-thirds of North Carolinian adults having at least one shot and keep our current trends stable, we can go even further and lift the mask mandate,” Dr. Cohen mentioned.
But Dr. Mandy Cohen said there is still work to do. And some people like William Willer think this whole timeline is a little too ambitious.
“I appreciate his intention and it’s good for business and people’s mental health to socialize, but I think it might be a tad aggressive,” said William Willer.
But for business owners in the state like Hughes, she’s fully vaccinated and ready to welcome back more customers.
“I think all Americans have freedom in their DNA so it will start to make them feel normal again,” Hughes told 7 News.