NC Gov. Roy Cooper issues mandate requiring face masks in public; NC sheriff’s and community reaction

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NORTH CAROLINA (WBTW) – North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper says a mask mandate will go into effect June 26, 2020 at 5pm. This means North Carolinians must wear masks or cloth coverings when in public places both indoors and outdoors, where 6 feet apart isn’t possible. All employees and customers in retail businesses and restaurants are required to wear masking, as well as manufacturing workers.

There are a few exceptions:

– People with medical conditions

– Children under 11

– People who are at home

– Anyone walking or exercising outside when not within six feet of others

“We are adding this new requirement because we don’t want to go backwards,” Governor Cooper says. “Overwhelming evidence that is growing by the week shows that wearing a face covering can greatly reduce the spread of Covid-19,” Cooper continues.

A few North Carolina Sheriff’s have put out public statements saying they do not agree with the mandate.

Halifax County Sheriff Wes Tripp wrote:
“I certainly encourage people to be careful and take safety precautions, however your Sheriff’s Office will not be taking enforcement actions against people or businesses for not wearing masks.
The wearing of a mask is a personal decision, not one of a governor in Raleigh.”

Sampson County Sheriff Jimmy Thornton wrote:
“As Sheriff, it is my sworn duty to enforce laws enacted by our legislature, as well as protect the constitutional rights of all citizens. It is my belief that Governor Cooper’s executive order mandating face coverings by all citizens in public is not only unconstitutional, but unenforceable. My deputies will NOT enforce an executive order that I feel violates the constitutional liberties of citizens.

The number of cases in Sampson County are reflecting higher than other counties in our State. I do encourage and trust that all citizens will take it upon themselves to carry out the necessary precautions to ensure the safety and protection of themselves and those that surround them. I am not encouraging negligence, but I would like to reiterate that it is not the Sheriff’s duty to enforce health related mandates unless court ordered by a Judicial Official or the Legislature.”

Shalina Texidor, Child’s natural hair care specialist, says since hair salons have been able to open back up they have already requested that their clients wear masks.

‘You have to break down that it’s not just for me it’s for your child and we have asymptomatic people, you know she may be fine but may still carry so try to educate them more.”

Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins said in a statement that he will be enforcing the order at his office, but he also said in part, “We won’t be going out doing checks for this and hope that business owners take it upon themselves to protect their staff and customers.”

Texidor says she feels more protected with this new mandate.

“So I’m glad that now when we are in a grocery store and other public places we are able to wear a mask because it does cut down on the spread,” Texidor says.

This mask mandate will go in effect Friday, June 26, 2020 at 5pm.

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