Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday has issued a mandatory mask requirement across North Carolina and ordered a "pause" on easing any other restrictions as infections rates and the number of hospitalizations continue to climb.

The "Safer At Home" Executive Order, signed May 22, allowed restaurants, barbershops and salons, among other personal care businesses, to open with capacity restrictions. The order, which was due to expire on June 26, will now be in effect through the July 4 holiday and expire July 17.

The Governor's mask mandate will be enforceable with retail stores, supermarkets, construction sites, manufacturing plants, meat processing facilities, personal care businesses and restaurants all being susceptible to citations and other penalties if all employees--and their customers--are not wearing a face covering.

There will be exceptions including children under 11 and people with certain medical conditions for example.

On Wednesday, the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut all announced a mandatory 14-day quarantine from states where the infection rate is high--including North Carolina.