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Beaufort lifts mask mandate as Carteret County sees COVID-19 numbers decline

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 6:20 PM EDT
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BEAUFORT, N.C. (WITN) - Patrons browsing stores along Beaufort’s waterfront no longer have to wear a mask inside.

Emily Newnam, Southern Frock owner and designer, reacted to the lifted mandate by saying, “Honestly it feels kind of liberating, I mean it’s just one of those things where you’re not tied to a mask all the time.”

Newnam finds relief in the lifted mandate for patrons who forget their masks or have to go back to their car to get one.

“We have had a little bit of business be turned away just because people are ready to break free from the mask.”

Emily Newnam, Southern Frock owner and designer

Beaufort’s Board of Commissioners allowed that freedom once again as Carteret County COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations decline.

“Definitely in the last one to two weeks we are seeing those hospitalization rates are coming down,” Kim Davis, public health nursing supervisor said.

While North Carolina is trending in the right direction, Davis advises people to consider putting a mask back on if cases jump once again.

“That may be something that people want to think about to help protect themselves as an added measure.”

Kim Davis, Carteret County public health nursing supervisor

For now, comfort comes for one business owner, happy that the shopping experience looks somewhat like it once did.

“I think it’s just a great thing that everybody is just out living their lives again.”

Emily Newnam, Southern Frock owner and designer

Davis said healthcare experts attribute the decrease in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations to the vaccine.

While the mandate has been lifted for indoor public spaces inside town limits, masks are still required in town government facilities.

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