It’s extremely rare for Guilford County to send out any type of official letter or notice on a Sunday.
However, on Sunday, Aug. 8, Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston sent an email to the mayors in the county – and to top county officials – announcing a Monday, Aug. 9 meeting to address the coronavirus pandemic.
“I apologize for reaching out to you on a weekend,” Alston wrote in his invitation to the mayors and others, “however, it is apparent that we are fast approaching another decision point when it comes to the protection of our community as [a] result of our current COVID-19 infection rates, resource implications, etc.”
Alston went on to state that Guilford County is experiencing “a sharp increase” in the number of new coronavirus cases, and that, in the past month, the rate of infected among those tested in Guilford County had risen from 2 percent to over 6 percent. Over the past year and a half, the 5 percent line has been a driver of some county mitigation policies. Anytime the rate climbs over the line, county officials get very concerned.
Ever since the pandemic hit in early 2020, Alston has been one of the most animated leaders when it comes to touting safety measures. Last year, he even publicly chastised his fellow commissioners for not wearing masks at board meetings.
With the resurgence in the disease – largely due to the Delta variant – Alston wrote that new action is needed.
In the meeting invitation, the chairman noted that area hospital admissions are growing due to COVID-19 and that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting a “high level” of community transmission in Guilford County.
Alston has included some hospital leaders in the invitation.
The chairman has called meetings of the county’s mayors before, but, in the past, those meetings have been announced well in advance. This meeting, which will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, was announced just one day ahead of time.
The meeting will be held in the county-owned BB&T building in downtown Greensboro. Attendees have the option of participating through Zoom.
Alston’s invite states that the group will discuss where the county now stands in addressing the pandemic, impacts to the county’s cities and towns, and potential mitigation measures.