Cooper July 29 Presser

Gov. Roy Cooper speaks at a July 29 COVID-19 press conference.

RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper announced a new executive order at a July 29 press conference that directs state government cabinet agencies to verify whether their employees are vaccinated.

Cooper also “strongly urges” other state government agencies and private businesses to do the same and press workers to get vaccinated or mask up. Cooper also said that everyone, including those who are vaccinated in a county with high rates of virus spread — which is 80 percent of North Carolina counties — is encouraged to wear a mask in public indoor settings.

The governor said that the hope is this order encourages more people to get vaccinated and that any type of consequence would be worked out with human resource offices in cabinet agencies in the coming days.

Cooper also said he hopes that community colleges, universities and other Council of State members also start verifying that employees are vaccinated and making sure those who are unvaccinated are tested at least once a week and are required to wear a mask.

The statewide mask mandate ended on July 30, which was announced on July 21.

“As you will see, after months of low numbers, our trends have turned sharply in the wrong direction,” Cooper said at the press conference. “I want to be clear about why: unvaccinated people are driving this resurgence and getting themselves and other people sick.”

State cabinet agencies include the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, military and veterans affairs, and public safety. The order affects about 50,000 state employees, Cooper said.

Cooper said that people who are unvaccinated make up most all of North Carolina cases where people are getting sick and hospitalized.

“We are hearing from doctors about people in the ICU begging for the vaccine right before they are put on a ventilator,” Cooper said. “By then, it’s too late. So here is my message to anyone who has yet to get a shot: Get a vaccine today. Don’t wait until you or a family member is sick and going on a ventilator. Don’t wait until we run out of hospital beds. Don’t wait until skyrocketing numbers threaten to shut down businesses or cancel sports. Don’t wait until you infect someone you love. Get a vaccine today.”

From July 28 to July 29, North Carolina had seen more than 3,000 COVID-19 cases, which NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen said was the most cases in 24 hours since February 2021.

Part of this increase, Cohen said, is because of the Delta variant.

“Your original COVID-19 spread from one person to an average of two to three people,” Cohen said. “Now, the Delta variant spreads from one person to an average of six people, and nearly all of that spread is happening amongst people who are not vaccinated. Since early May, North Carolina cases are in 92 percent of people who are not fully vaccinated.”

Cohen said the highest rates of viral spread are happening with low vaccination rates. About two-thirds of counties in the state have less than half of their 12 and older population — those able to get the vaccine — fully vaccinated.

“If you haven’t gotten vaccinated yet, I urge you to do so now to protect yourself and your community,” Cohen said. “Getting vaccinated prevents serious illness hospitalization and death and it slows community spread of this virus. Rigorous clinical trials among thousands of people ages 12 and older have proven that vaccines are safe and effective.”

Cohen said that NCDHHS guidance is updated to reflect that if a person is not vaccinated, they should continue to practice the three Ws in all indoor public settings. Unvaccinated people, Cohen said, should also not gather with other unvaccinated people who they do not live with. She also said that unvaccinated people should not travel.

“The takeaway from all of this is there’s only one way out of this pandemic and that is vaccination,” Cohen said. “This virus doesn’t care about county lines, but it does care about low vaccination rates.”

According to NCDHHS data, 9.3 percent of COVID-19 tests across the state are coming back positive — an increase of 7.3 percent from a month ago on June 29. The state also reports that 1,141 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state. A month ago, 393 people were hospitalized with COVID-19. Of the patients hospitalized, 274 — or 24 percent — are in the intensive care unit.

As of July 29, the state reported that 13,618 people had died in North Carolina due to COVID-19. AppHealthCare reported that 32 people had died in Watauga County and 47 had died in Ashe County due to COVID-19 as of July 29.

AppHealthCare reported that as of July 29, there were 20 active COVID-19 cases in Watauga County and 21 in Ashe County. Watauga County had 4,827 total COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic and 150 people total had been hospitalized in AppHealthCare’s three-county district at that time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently lists Watauga County as having “moderate” COVID-19 community transmission between July 21 and July 27. The full CDC transmission map can be found at

As of July 29, Watauga County has had 28,993 people — or 52 percent — who have received at least one COVID-19 shot and 27,195 people — or 48 percent — have been fully vaccinated, according to NCDHHS.

“I know hearing these messages is alarming,” Cooper said. “Everyone hoped we’d be past this by now, including me. But until more people get vaccinated, this is the reality we must confront. We’ll continue to battle this pandemic by increasing vaccination rates. This is our only way out of this.”

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(12) comments


Listen, it's simple. If people are too stupid to get the vaccine, if they're so easily manipulated by the anti-vax lies, if they're so gullible as to believe the tripe from OANN, then let them get sick and let them die. Harsh, I know, but it's really been a while since natural selection has had a chance to work its magic. And we could all do with fewer Trump supporters.


Except that their *unimaginably-selfish* refusal to do so (or to wear a mask, or social distance, or avoid crowds, stop worshiping a con-man grifter, etc., ad infinitum...) or to just generally be a decent human being and a member of society, they are now risking increasing both the likelihood and the speed at which mutations will occur, putting those that set-aside their grievances with this whole mess in danger.

As much as the cynical side of me 100% agrees with your points, it's not just going to negatively impact them. Their selfish BS puts *all* of us in danger.

good thing biden is letting all the diseased illegals into the country. what a great job he's doing


Oh, Andy. Where would we be without your wise words and witticisms. You always have so much to offer in these discussions!

Bless your heart. Please don't ever change, you sweet summer child.


No matter your views on immigration policy reform--which is a serious and worthwhile topic--I am saddened that someone would proudly attach their (presumably real) name to a public statement in which they describe any of their fellow human beings as "diseased illegals." The fact that you are not ashamed by this is a very grim harbinger indeed.


Since the governor's comments and decrees are not supported by the actual data from the CDC, let's see the science -- peer reviewed science and actual data. No more vacu;ous claims and fears promoting an experimental gene therapy called a vaccine, and one that can have serious side effects.


The widely used PCR Test for covid has also recently failed FDA review, calling into further question the actual number of cases. The test is being recalled.


And please, enough of your Facebook "news" BS, this is patently false.

"A current list of medical products recalled (including dates) by the FDA is viewable here . According to the 2021 medical device recall list, the Innova Medical Device Group COVID-19 diagnostic test is one of only three testing devices recalled due to inaccurate results.

An FDA spokesperson confirmed to Reuters via email that "the FDA has authorized more than 300 tests and sample collection kits to diagnose COVID-19, many of which are PCR tests". A list of the multiple other PCR tests currently authorized by the FDA to diagnose COVID-19 is visible here (type PCR in the search bar)."

Honestly, the fact that you took the time to post this comment, *after* posting your comment RE: wanting to see "peer-reviewed science and actual data" only shows how completely full of BS you really are.


Please take your anti-vax BS back to your mountain. If you don't wanna mask-up, or get vaccinated, that's fine, but do the rest of us a favor and please just stay away from the rest of us and keep to yourself up on heavenly mountain chanting your TM-cult mantras...

stay home while the rest of us live normally


Awww, are we being oppressed? Gotta put a wee little mask on your face? Boo-hoo =(

Man, what a tough life you must have that *that's* what you're going to whine and cry about...


Here ya go, because apparently a simple online search is too much effort for you:

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