North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper struck an urgent and cautionary tone Thursday, calling out people who are unvaccinated for perpetuating the coronavirus pandemic, as the country sees a resurgence in cases and hospitalizations due to the contagious delta variant and low vaccination rate.
He also made a change in vaccination requirements for some government employees, encouraging the private sector to do the same.
“As you will see, after months of low numbers, our trends have turned sharply in the wrong direction,” Cooper said at a news conference. “I want to be clear about why: Unvaccinated people are driving this resurgence and getting themselves and other people sick.”
He stopped short of reinstating a mask mandate, though, across the state.
Instead, he is requiring some North Carolina state employees in Cabinet agencies to show proof of vaccination. Those who don’t will need to wear masks and be subject to regular testing for COVID-19, Cooper said.
The governor also encouraged private employers to do the same, at a minimum.
“We are at a crossroads in this pandemic, and we need the private sector to help us increase vaccine rates,” Cooper said.