If you’re upset about having to wear a mask in public to protect other people from catching coronavirus from you, you don’t have to be upset long.
The North Carolina General Assembly adjourned on Friday, June 26 and didn’t pass legislation making it legal for adults to wear masks in public after August 1.
At the beginning of May, the legislature passed a law that temporarily lifted the restriction on adults wearing masks in public, but that “fix” expires August 1.
So imagine this: If Gov. Roy Cooper has found a way to extend his executive order requiring people to wear masks until August, or if Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan decides to reinstate the mask order, then persons could get stopped by police, and if they were wearing a mask they could be charged with violating the state statute and if they weren’t wearing a mask they could be charged with violating the emergency order.
Many have forgotten that when the Greensboro City Council first advised people to wear masks in public, it was illegal. Cooper’s stay-at-home executive order issued on March 27 doesn’t recommend, much less require, wearing masks in public.
When the legislature held a special session in April mainly to determine how to spend all the federal CARES Act money, but also to make some adjustments for the pandemic. As part of the COVID-19 Recovery Act, a section was added making wearing a mask in public legal, but that portion of the law expires on August 1.
The legislature at one point had an extension of that law in a bill being considered just before the legislature finally adjourned at about 3:30 a.m. on Friday, June 26. For some reason that has not been explained, at least not to the public, it was removed from the bill before it came up for a vote.
So the original expiration date of the law making it legal to wear a mask in public still expires on August 1.