Gov. Roy Cooper issued a new executive order June 11 extending North Carolina’s mask mandate for many at-risk settings, including public schools, health care facilities and detention centers. Cooper had issued the original mask mandate order in May due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The order also extends North Carolina’s state of emergency, which has been in place since March 2020.

Cooper said that the mask mandates remain in place in certain settings based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, at least partly deriving information from vaccination rates.

Nationwide, the rate as of June 11 of those receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination was at 62 percent. Among those eligible for the vaccine in North Carolina, people 12 and older, that rate was 51 percent as of June 11.

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Tom Mayer is the executive editor of Mountain Times Publications, a group of five news newspapers, six websites and one monthly periodical in the High Country of North Carolina.

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