Gov. Roy Cooper on Thursday urged businesses and municipal governments across North Carolina to require their employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
During a news conference, Cooper announced an executive order requiring vaccinations for all workers at agencies that are part of his office. The order, which takes effect Friday, requires unvaccinated employees of the Governor’s Cabinet to undergo weekly coronavirus testing.
Cooper, who noted that the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19 has fueled a statewide spike in infections, said the action was “aimed at slowing the spread among the unvaccinated and encouraging more people to get their shots.”
“Unvaccinated people are driving this resurgence and getting themselves and other people sick,” he said. “People who are unvaccinated make up most all of our cases where people are getting sick and hospitalized.”
Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, said over 3,200 new infections were reported across the state on Thursday, the most recorded over a 24-hour period since February. Still, only 47 percent of North Carolinians — and about 46 percent of Moore County residents — are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“We’re hearing from doctors about people in the ICU begging for the vaccine right before they’re put on a ventilator, and by then it’s too late,” Cooper said. “So here is my message for 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 business (down) or cancel sports. Don’t wait until you infect somebody you love.”