North Carolina lifted most of its COVID-19 restrictions Friday afternoon.
The announcement came one day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued updated guidance on masking. Under the new executive order, all capacity and gathering limits and social distancing requirements have been lifted statewide. Masks will still be required in certain situations including crowded areas, public transit, schools and certain public health settings.
“This is not the end of this pandemic, and in fact we need a lot more people to get vaccinated for this to be over,” Governor Roy Cooper said.
People who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks or practice social distancing, NC DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen said, but unvaccinated people should continue to take precautions. Both Cohen and Cooper emphasized that people should continue to take safety precautions as they see fit, and consult with healthcare providers to determine what is best for them.
As of Friday, about 46% of adults are fully vaccinated and 51% of adults are partially vaccinated. Out of all North Carolinians, 36.2% are fully vaccinated and 40.6% are partially vaccinated. The state’s goal is to have at least two-thirds of the population vaccinated.
In Durham County, 38.54% of the population is partially vaccinated and 38.12% is fully vaccinated.
Duke recently announced that it would begin easing in-person event restrictions June 1 in compliance with pre-existing statewide capacity limits.
Clarification: An earlier version of this article and a tweet stated that 46% of North Carolinians were fully vaccinated and 51% were partially vaccinated. These statistics were for people 18 or older.