Cary, NC — To combat what the Town of Cary is calling the “fight against the COVID-19 Delta Variant,” Mayor Harold Weinbrecht signed a new State of Emergency Order Monday, August 16, 2021.
The order requires everyone over age 5 to mask up in all indoor public spaces and businesses in Cary, regardless of vaccination status. The new mandate goes into effect Wednesday, August 18 at 5 PM and the mask mandate for town-operated facilities signed August 2, 2021, will continue to remain in place until rescinded by the mayor.
Cary’s first State of Emergency declaration in response to the pandemic was signed on March 16, 2020, and was lifted on May 13, 2021. The end of the order came when access to vaccines was widespread and cases remained on a steady downward trend.
According to the Town of Cary’s news release on the order—in Wake County alone—cases have spiked by nearly 1000% since June 1, 2021. This kind of rapid spread being detected, especially among unvaccinated individuals, has led to this new order.
Cary Joins Raleigh, Durham & More
Cary’s mask mandate isn’t the only one to go into effect this week. Other local governments that have announced their own mask mandates so far include Raleigh, Durham, Durham County and Orange County. As for individual towns and cities within these counties, like Apex and Fuquay-Varina, the News & Observer reports that some are not willing to issue a mandate at this time.
Speaking to the decision made here in Cary was Mayor Weinbrecht in a Monday press release from the Town.
“This new phase of the pandemic has brought some old challenges roaring back, but our experience in 2020 taught us an important lesson: Masks work,” he said.
“Because Cary citizens decided to protect each other by masking up last year, we were able to keep our hospitals from being overwhelmed. With the delta variant spreading quickly, we need that community spirit now more than ever.”
Details of the Mandate
The order, part of a new State of Emergency declaration for the Town of Cary, applies to everyone regardless of vaccination status.
As part of the declaration, a face covering is now required indoors for people over age 5 anytime they will be in contact with others outside of their household. The mandate covers all public and private indoor spaces within Cary’s town limits. It will go into effect Wednesday, August 18 at 5 PM and is active until rescinded by the mayor.
Exceptions to wearing a face-covering include:
- Religious, worship, and funeral services
- Activities constituting the exercise of First Amendment rights
- Medical and disability conditions
- See more listed in Section 2C of the declaration
At this time, the Town is announcing no changes to services, events, or meetings as a part of the new declaration.
Urge for Vaccinations
Weinbrecht also added in his remarks Monday that vaccines “continue to be the most important tool to stop the spread of the delta variant.”
“I’m urging anyone who is eligible for the vaccine but has not yet received it, to go get one as soon as possible. Masks are important right now, and vaccines are our best and quickest way out of the danger zone,” he said.
Story and photos by Ashley Kairis.
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