COVID-19 trends, mask mandate to be discussed at special meeting, Guilford County Board Chair says

COVID-19 trends, mask mandate to be discussed at special meeting, Guilford County Board Chair says

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From our friends at: www.wfmynews2.com

For Tuesday’s meeting, Alston said representatives from Cone Health, the Guilford County Health Director, and Guilford County Emergency Services are set to attend.

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — The Guilford County Board of Commissioners will meet virtually Tuesday, November 2, at 6:30 p.m. for a special meeting to discuss current COVID-19 local trends with various health agencies. 

While the current indoor mask mandate, which remains in place since early August 2021, will not be the primary focus of the meeting, masking requirements will likely be discussed as part of the conversation, board chair Skip Alston told WFMY News 2 ahead of the meeting.

Alston said that representatives from Cone Health, the Guilford County Health Director, and Guilford County Emergency Services are set to attend. He said the board will ask questions to hear their updated perspectives on COVID-19 trends, vaccination data, testing data, and hospitalizations.

“We are trying to be proactive and rely on recommendations from the medical society,” Alston said. “I rely on the medical community, not politicians.”

Alston added that no votes will take place during Tuesday’s meeting, but the board has the power to vote on changing the mask mandate during future, regularly scheduled meetings.

Members of the public may join the meeting via Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82269446393, and if required, entering meeting ID 822 6944 6393 at the prompt, according to a notice from the county.

Reassuring COVID-19 trends in Guilford County

Back in August, Alston voted in favor of the indoor mask mandate, which was 7-2 in favor of masking. WFMY News 2 also spoke with Justin Conrad, Guilford County District 3 Commissioner, ahead of Tuesday’s meeting.

“Hopefully the board, my colleagues, will join me, and we will rescind the mask mandate at our earliest opportunity,” said Conrad, who voted against re-instating the mask mandate back in August.

Conrad pointed to the declining COVID-19 testing 14-day positivity rate, which is currently 4%, according to data from Guilford County.

As of October 29, the most recent day data is available, 53 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in Guilford County. The most recent peak was 171 people hospitalized in Guilford County on August 23, 2021.

The CDC’s COVID Data Tracker indicates transmission is currently “high” in Guilford County, because the new case rate per 100,000 people is above 100 – right now at 115.98. The percent positivity rate of 4% falls under the CDC’s community transmission rate of “low,” but the CDC states that is the two metrics are different, the higher level is selected.

In Guilford County, 54% of the total population is fully-vaccinated, while 64% of the eligible population age 12 and up is fully-vaccinated, data shows.

WFMY New 2 spoke with two local businesses to hear their perspective on the mask mandate in Guilford County.

D’Etta Winstead is the business owner of the $5 Jeweler Paparazzi Accessories located at the Friendly Center in Greensboro. She supports the current mask mandate and said she would most likely keep a mandate in place, should the county rescind it in the near future.

“I am really comfortable with the mask, and if I have a customer that’s not comfortable, I have different ways to service them if they don’t want to shop in the store. But we have a sign on the door – please follow the mask mandate,” said Winstead.

Winstead said she and seven of her family members became infected with the virus. She fortunately survived.

“You don’t want to offend anybody asking them if they’ve been vaccinated or not, because that’s a choice. so why not do the mask?” Winstead said.

Isaiah Brock is Day Manager at Heavenly Buffalos on Elm Street in Greensboro. He also supports the current mandate.

“I think it’s a decent mandate. I think it’s respectful for everyone involved. We have customers who come in who may have underlying conditions and who have young kids,” said Brock.

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