RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) — With COVID-19 numbers rising, Gov. Roy Cooper spent a lot of Wednesday’s press conference encouraging North Carolinians to get vaccinated.
But after New York City announced it will require proof of vaccination to enter some businesses, the big question is will North Carolina follow this?
“We want to encourage businesses to do things to get their employees vaccinated, and I applaud them for getting their customers vaccinated, some businesses have made the decision,” Cooper said.
The decision is to mandate people to prove they are vaccinated before entering. In Wednesday’s press conference, Cooper said he supports businesses making the decision to do so. He did not comment specifically on any statewide mandate.
Cooper also said the good news is recent incentives done by state and local governments is improving the overall vaccination rate, like the vaccination lottery.
“We have talked to a number of people who have said, ‘yeah if we can win I want to do it’,” Cooper said.
This week alone, first-dose vaccination rates have increased by 42%, Cooper said.
In Eastern North Carolina, vaccination rates in Carteret, Craven and Onslow counties are all under 50%. Local leaders say they are on the same page as Cooper and encourage people to get vaccinated.
“We definitely know the more people in our community that are vaccinated, the more protection we have overall against the transmission of this virus,” said Onslow County Assistant Manager Sheri Slater.
Slater also said while coronavirus cases are increasing among her community, they are asking unvaccinated people to rethink their decision not to get a vaccine.
The Carteret County Health Department is hosting a vaccine clinic on Friday to help boost their rates.
However, the question remains on the minds of some residents as to when and if officials in ENC or in NC will make the decision to get a vaccination a requirement and where. Cooper was asked that at Wednesday’s briefing and said, “We need to continue to do everything to get more people vaccinated.
“You’re making the decision not to be vaccinated but what you are doing is putting everybody else at risk,” Cooper said.
Cooper also talked about masks in schools. He said he hopes some public school boards will rethink their decisions about not requiring a mask in the coming weeks.