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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

Go deeper

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19 — Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate.
  4. World: Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Health officials urge flu shots, warning of "twindemic" with COVID-19

Data: NFID survey, Aug. 17-19, 2020; Note: Margin of error for the total survey is ±4.4%; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans need to prioritize getting their influenza vaccine now, public health officials warned Thursday.

Why it matters: The seasonal flu combined with the coronavirus pandemic could lead to a "twindemic" with increased chances of co-infections and an overwhelmed health system. Because symptoms are similar and diagnostics aren't fast, people can best mitigate their risks with the flu shot plus social distancing and mask-wearing this fall and winter.

Updated Oct 2, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump tests positive for coronavirus

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus, the physician to the president confirmed early Friday.

Why it matters: Trump is 74 years old, which generally puts him at higher risk for severe illness from the virus, per CDC guidelines. The president was experiencing "mild symptoms" on Friday, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters.