Throughout the pandemic, no federal mandate making face masks mandatory country-wide has been put in place. As COVID-19 cases in North Carolina and other states across the U.S. follow upward trends, some local governments are taking actions on their end to help slow the spread. Mandatory mask requirements in North Carolina are popping up in a few different cities and counties, and may even be issued state-wide soon.

Cities including Raleigh, Boone, Knightdale, and Orange County are all requiring face masks when residents go out in public.

Orange County, near Durham and Chapel Hill, has had this mandate in place since Friday, June 12 at 5 p.m., and are extending their COVID-19 state of emergency until at least August 31.

Raleigh's mask requirement will go into effect today, Friday, June 19 at 4 p.m.

Boone residents will see this new regulation go into effect on Saturday, June 20, at 9 a.m. and Sunday, June 21 at 5 p.m. for Knightdale

As of now, there are no fines in place for not wearing a mask, but Boone will be implementing one in three weeks. Those who are unable to wear masks because of their religion or health conditions are excluded from the mandate.

While Gov. Roy Cooper has not ordered a state-wide requirement yet, one may be on the horizon.

"We're looking at ways to significantly increase the use of face coverings, and I applaud the stores and businesses that already require them," the governor said during his Thursday COVID-19 briefing.

"We're examining carefully the issues surrounding a state-wide requirement of face masks."

Cooper also explained how masks are helping slow the spread of the virus. The governor's Facebook page will keep the public updated on what's to come. 

"No, it's not the most comfortable thing, but you get used to it," said Cooper. "This piece of protection may even save your life or the lives of your loved ones." 

There are currently about 49,840 lab-confirmed cases and 871 patients hospitalized according to the North Carolina Department of Health.

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