Gov. Roy Cooper at a Get Out the Vote event in 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo: Jeff Hahne/Getty Images

Gov. Roy Cooper said that face masks should be worn by everyone in public across North Carolina and paused the next phase of the state's reopening on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Coronavirus hospitalizations in the state have continued to rise since last month, although there was a slight dip on Wednesday, according to state health department data.

Driving the news: California and Washington state issued similar orders mandating face coverings on Tuesday.

Details: High-risk individuals in North Carolina — those over 65 years old and those with underlying medical conditions — are urged to remain home for the next three weeks, outside of essential services.

  • Gatherings of over 10 people across the state are prohibited for another three weeks under the state's current reopening plan.

By the numbers: 906 people in North Carolina are currently being hospitalized from the coronavirus. There are more than 56,000 COVID-19 infections in the state, and 1,266 fatalities, per the state's health department.

What he's saying: “North Carolina is relying on the data and the science to lift restrictions responsibly, and right now our increasing numbers show we need to hit the pause button while we work to stabilize our trends,” Cooper said in a statement.

Go deeper: California issues statewide face mask order as coronavirus cases climb

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