Two weeks ago, on May 14, Gov. Roy Cooper surprised himself and the rest of us by lifting nearly all of his personal and business restrictions. True to form, he kept the most scientifically unsupportable ones; namely, forced masks on children in schools and summer camps. But the change was nevertheless very upsetting to some media and people.

E.g., shortly after Cooper’s announcement, WRAL had already filed a report on how “Ditching the mask won’t be easy for everyone, experts say” and begun compiling a list of which stores are “playing it safe and still requiring masks.”

Meanwhile, despite all the evident danger, and despite the unquestioned (by media and others) notion that the governor’s orders were what was holding back the tide of even worse virus outcomes, here are how North Carolina’s Covid numbers have changed in the two weeks since Cooper’s announcement.

  May 14 May 28 Change
New cases
(7-day rolling average)
1262.9 771.4 Down 39%
(7-day rolling average)
950.3 694.1 Down 27%
Test percent positive
(7-day rolling average)
4.1% 3.2% Down 22%