By WBTV Web Staff | March 9, 2021 at 3:56 PM EST – Updated March 9 at 4:06 PM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – North Carolina health officials reported less than 1,000 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday.
With numbers stabilizing, and vaccine distributions ramping up, Gov. Roy Cooper said the state will continue to keep its mask mandate in restaurants, government buildings and other businesses.
Cooper did not give a timeline as to when the mask mandate will end.
On March 5, South Carolina lifted its mask mandate.
“We are going to listen to health officials, and health officials across the board want to make sure that we have a mask mandate in place, that we wear masks to protect each other and ourselves,” Cooper said.
Mask mandate in NC?
Cooper says health officials are saying mask mandates need to still be in place — that’s not changing soon for NC.
— Paige Pauroso (@PaigePauroso) March 9, 2021
Cooper said that more than 1.1 million adults in North Carolina have been fully vaccinated – with three vaccines available in the state with Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
The governor said that though more than one million adults in the state have been fully vaccinated, there are eight million adults in North Carolina.
“We are still working on getting people vaccinated,” Cooper said. “Our numbers are lower, and that’s great, but we need to keep working to make sure prevention efforts are in place.”
On Tuesday, North Carolina announced 997 new coronavirus cases, the state’s lowest single-day total since September.
Cooper said he wants to see more people vaccinated, and the data continue to progress before lifting the mask mandate.
State health officials say hospitalizations remain stable and the percent positive rate remains around five percent.
“We don’t intend to lift the mask mandate in North Carolina, and we look forward to even better numbers and progress ahead as we get more people vaccinated,” Cooper said.
Cooper pressed that fully vaccinating more than one million people is a milestone as the state continues to receive weekly shipments of the vaccines.
Last week, North Carolina received 80,000 doses in the first Johnson & Johnson shipment.
“This is a huge milestone,” Cooper said. “This puts us even closer to a time where we can hg our loved ones and gather without fear of severe illness.”
N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen received her dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on March 5.
“My arm was sore and I did feel achy that evening but the reaction was mild and didn’t last long,” Cohen said. “It’s a great feeling of relief.”
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