Update: This story was updated on August 25 to reflect the new mandates in North Carolina.
As the delta variant of the coronavirus fuels another increase in cases and hospitalizations in North Carolina, some densely populated counties and municipalities are reinstating indoor mask warrants.
At least 35% of the state’s population live in places under mask warrants as of August 25, according to a News & Observer analysis.
In recent weeks, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville, Cumberland County, Mecklenburg County and New Hanover County have joined with municipalities in the Triangle to request masks in all indoor locations.
In the Triangle, County Durham and the City of Durham require anyone 5 years of age and older to wear a mask in public spaces, including businesses.
Orange County, along with Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough, have reinstated an indoor mask mandate for anyone 2 years of age and older.
The Wake County order went into effect on August 20, applying to about 192,000 Wake residents living in unincorporated areas of the county, according to county spokeswoman Stacy Beard. The towns of Garner, Knightdale, Morrisville, Rolesville, and Zebulon have also joined the Order of Wake. In total, the county’s decree applies to about 83% of its population.
Raleigh’s mask mandate for indoor public spaces within city limits went into effect at 5 p.m. on August 13. Cary added his own tenure, effective August 18.
“The number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in our community and statewide at an alarming rate,” Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said in a press release. “The idea that we can hope COVID-19 will go away on its own is not a reality. It is time to take responsible action and today we are taking an important step to ensure that the people of this community and those who visit us stay healthy and safe.
Other counties with large populations or with high levels of community transmission have also announced the return of indoor mask warrants, including Guilford, Buncombe, Meckenburg, Cumberland and New Hanover counties.
The city of charlotte started a mask order on August 18, much like the unincorporated parties in Mecklenburg County, until the end of the month, reported The Charlotte Observer. August 31 new mask wearing rules will take effect for all towns in Mecklenburg County.
Buncombe County approved a mandate on August 18 for all public indoor facilities in unincorporated areas, the Asheville Citizen-Times reported. Asheville, Weaverville, Woodfin and Montreat have joined the county order, the Citizen-Times reported. The town of Black Mountain then aligned with Buncombe’s Order, issuing its own mask warrant which went into effect on August 21. WLOS reported.
Gov. Roy Cooper has indicated he will not reinstate a statewide mask warrant or other COVID-19 capability protocols, but instead will focus on helping more people escape. get vaccinated, The N&O reported.
The News & Observer follows state jurisdictions reverting to indoor mask mandates. Check back here for updates as more counties or municipalities are enforcing masking indoors.
North Carolina counties requiring indoor masks
▪ Buncombe County (only applies to unincorporated areas)
▪ Cumberland County (Effective August 27 at 5:00 p.m.)
▪ County Durham (including City of Durham)
▪ Guilford County (includes Greensboro)
▪ County of Mecklenburg (An order is in effect for Charlotte and unincorporated parts of the county until September 1. On August 31, a county-wide ordinance will take effect for anyone over the age of 5 in all towns in the county and in Charlotte.)
▪ New Hanover county
▪ Orange County (including Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough)
▪ County of Wake (only applies to unincorporated areas)
NC municipalities requiring masks in all indoor public places
▪ Asheville (Buncombe County)
▪ Black Mountain (Buncombe County)
▪ Blowing rock (effective August 27)
▪ Boone (Watauga County)
▪ Charlotte (in effect until September 1, the Mecklenburg County Ordinance will come into effect on August 31)
▪ Davidson (in effect until Mecklenburg County Ordinance comes into effect on August 31)
▪ Fayetteville (Cumberland County)
▪ Matthews (in effect until Mecklenburg County Ordinance comes into effect on August 31)
▪ Montreat (Buncombe County)
▪ Weaverville (Buncombe County)
▪ Woodfin (Buncombe County)
This story will be updated to include additional jurisdictions that announce indoor mask warrants.
This story was originally published August 13, 2021 3:16 pm.