Source: Carolina Public Press

Governor Cooper announced at a press conference Wednesday that the state would remain in its current phase. Masks are required when people are in public and cannot maintain social distance, Cooper said. The executive order extends the current phase through July 17, according to Carolina Public Press.

Cooper’s cautious approach is in part an effort to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. 

“Hospital capacity can be overwhelmed in the blink of an eye,” Cooper said. “Once we see that capacity is gone, it can be too late to turn the tide.”

As the state continues to see a rise in cases, Dr. Mandy Cohen says the number of reagents used in COVID-19 tests are in short supply. That makes it even more important for North Carolinians to wear masks and slow the spread of the virus.

Health care officials joined Cooper at the press conference to voice their support. Dennis Taylor, president of the N.C. Nurses Association, said the nurses back the governor.

“Nurses know these strategies will slow the spread of the virus,” Taylor said. “It’s not political. It’s not an exaggeration. Even if you are in the low-risk category — especially if you are in the low-risk category — everyone please, heed our warning.”

Read the full story from Carolina Public Press.