Reports are that Gov. Roy Cooper is going to give an update on his executive orders at 1:30 p.m. today. The question is, as this WRAL headline puts it, “When can NC take off the masks? State waits for mask mandate ruling from Gov. Cooper after CDC eases guidance.”

WRAL gives the context of today’s upcoming announcement, whatever it could be:

North Carolina’s mask mandate is still in place – even though the CDC says: If you’re vaccinated, it’s OK to take of your mask.

It’s a big moment in the fight against coronavirus.

In a major step toward returning to pre-pandemic life, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people on Thursday, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.

“Today is a great day for America,” President Joe Biden said during a Rose Garden address heralding the new guidance.

North Carolina is still waiting for Governor Cooper to provide an update on the mask mandate statewide.

As I’ve done before, here is the decision matrix facing Cooper right now (click the image for the full size). Which will he choose?

Which will it be? [UPDATE: The Central Planner Fallacy. Cooper lifted nearly all of his restrictions against people and businesses, including most — but not all — of the mask mandate. Read about how politics turned that week and led to Cooper’s decision.]

Remember these metrics for reopening?

If there needs to be more context, here are how things stand under what Cooper had been using as metrics for lifting his orders and restrictions.

Trajectory of COVID-like syndromic cases

This chart is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID Data Tracker, as of May 14, 2021:

Trajectory of cases

This chart uses data from the state Department of Health and Human Services’ daily COVID-19 reporting, as do the charts that follow.

Trajectory of positive tests as a percentage of total tests

Remember that the arbitrary level for reopening and removing restrictions was to be a sustained level below 5 percent.

Trajectory of hospitalizations