NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – A large group of people held a rally outside the New Hanover County Government Center Friday afternoon to protest the county mask mandate.
The rally began at 5 p.m., when New Hanover County’s indoor mask mandate started, and continued for about an hour.
The feeling among attendees was that the mask mandate was government overreach and that the decision to mask should be up to individuals.
New Hanover County released the following statement:
We know and appreciate that there are strong feelings around the mask mandate, both for and against. New Hanover County Health and Human Services has implemented this mask mandate based on guidance from the CDC and NC DHHS, and in response to the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in our community. Masks, combined with increased vaccinations, will add an additional layer of protection to help ensure our hospital system is not overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients and help prevent the virus’ spread. We all want to move past this pandemic and defeat the virus, and we want to be able to do that together as a community.
Implementing this rule requires 10 days public notice and the opportunity for public comment. In the interim, the health and human services board requested that Public Health Director David Howard issue an Order of Abatement that requires all residents and visitors to comply with an indoor mask mandate effective Friday at 5 p.m.
The 10-day public comment period begins at the same time as the mandate on Friday. Comments can be submitted through the county’s Health and Human Services website or the county’s website.
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