Duke University announced all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear face masks in all Duke-owned and leased buildings effective Friday, July 30, until further notice.
The university cited the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in North Carolina related to a combination of the Delta variant and the number of people who remain unvaccinated, as its reasoning.
Masks will not be required in on-campus residence halls.
WEDNESDAY MORNING HEADLINES
Gov. Roy Cooper and the state’s coronavirus task force will not be issuing an update today as previously planned.
The governor’s office said Tuesday afternoon that the previously planned Wednesday update would be pushed to Thursday.
Meanwhile, Cooper said he is reviewing mask guidance issued Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC changed its mask recommendations in light of new evidence about the Delta variant of COVID-19.
That variant has become the most dominant form of the virus in the US. The CDC’s new evidence suggests that vaccinated people remain well protected against all forms of COVID-19, including the Delta variant. However, unlike other variants, vaccinated people can still spread the Delta variant.
That’s why the CDC said all people should wear masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the coronavirus is surging.
Since the COVID-19 vaccines still provide strong protection against the Delta variant, health officials continue to urge people to get vaccinated.
Many healthcare facilities have begun mandating vaccines for their employees.
President Joe Biden is expected to announce federal employees will be required to be vaccinated or else face “stringent COVID-19 protocols.”
ABC News has confirmed, via sources familiar with the discussion, that President Joe Biden will likely announce Thursday that federal employees will be required to be vaccinated or else they must abide by “stringent COVID-19 protocols like mandatory mask wearing — even in communities not with high or substantial spread — and regular testing.”
The sources caution that at this point no decision has been finalized.
The federal government is the nation’s largest employer – 2.1 million workers and this would therefore be the largest vaccine mandate by a single employer of this pandemic.
This also represents a major policy shift from the White House. Since day one — this administration has publicly said it was opposed to vaccine mandates like this – preferring to leave it up to individual employers and local governments.
House Speaker Tim Moore reacted to news that the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced that the Division of State Operated Healthcare Facilities (DSOHF) will now require employees at all state healthcare facilities to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 30.
“I have personally been vaccinated against COVID-19, and I have done my best to help educate the public and urge others to get vaccinated if they choose to do so,” Moore said. “But at the end of…