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With North Carolina’s coronavirus (COVID-19) case count climbing, NC Gov. Roy Cooper indicated that the state is considering possibly making wearing face masks a requirement.

Cooper, in response to a media question about the effectiveness of masks, said the possibility of NC requiring face masks “is absolutely in discussion right now, about whether we make cloth face coverings mandatory and in what way we do it. Right now they are mandatory for employees of personal care, like hair and nail salons. Our health experts are looking at those same studies showing the effectiveness of cloth face coverings.”

He added that “we want people voluntarily to do this, but we are looking at additional rules to potentially make these mandatory.”

The Governor also said the state would let North Carolinians know at the beginning of next week whether there would be a move in to Phase 3 of the reopening plan or not. “Right now (the numbers) are not trending in a good direction.”

North Carolina now hasĀ 45,102 cases of COVID-19, with 983 new cases announced Monday. The state has had 1,118 deaths.

Additionally, Cooper indicated that nine counties around the state are showing particular concern, and they would be looking into additional resources for those counties. In the Sandhills region, that included Duplin, Lee and Johnston counties.

Cumberland County Update

Cumberland County reported 918 total cases Monday afternoon, with 30 deaths. The County also announced a change in drive-thru testing.

The Cumberland County Department of Public Health is offering drive-thru testing on Tuesdays and Thursdays while supplies last and staffing is available. Visit our Testing and Collection page to schedule an appointment.

On Tuesdays, test collection will be conducted at Manna Church, 5117 Cliffdale Road, Fayetteville, NC 28314 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

On Thursdays, test collection will be conducted at Cumberland County Health Department, 1235 Ramsey Street, Fayetteville, NC, 28301 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Testing is free and available for any individual over the age of 13 who meets the following criteria:

  • Any individual over the age of 13 experiencing COVID-19 symptoms*
  • Individuals without symptoms but who have been in close contact (within 6 feet for 10 minutes or longer) with someone who tested positive COVID-19 in the last 14 days. If you are not having symptoms, you should wait 6 days after your last exposure to get tested.
  • Regardless of symptoms, anyone over the age of 13, at higher risk of exposure or at higher risk for severe disease
    • Persons who live or work in a long-term care facility, homeless shelter, correctional facility, or migrant farmworker camp
    • People over age 65
    • People with underlying health conditions who are at high risk for severe illness
    • Persons from historically marginalized populations
    • Healthcare workers or first responders (e.g. EMS, law enforcement, fire department, military)
    • Front-line and essential workers (grocery store clerks, gas station attendants, childcare staff, etc.) in settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain.
    • Individuals who have attended protests, rallies, or other mass gatherings in crowds where it is difficult to practice effective social distancing.

 

Brandon Plotnick is a former sports journalist, now living in the digital space with interests all over the musical and pop culture map.