The overwhelming majority of the Greensboro City Council has pledged support for mandating that masks be worn in Greensboro.
The legal issues would have to be worked out, but eight of nine members of the City Council said they supported requiring that masks be worn in the City of Greensboro. Councilmember Justin Outling didn’t pledge to support a requirement that people in Greensboro wear mask, but he didn’t speak against the proposal either.
At the end of the Tuesday, April 21 virtual City Council meeting, when it was time for comments from the city councilmembers, once she got her microphone turned on, City Councilmember Yvonne Johnson said, “Can you hear me? One of the things I’d like for us to consider is a mandate to wear masks. We need to think about mandating the wearing of masks. We would certainly have to purchase masks for those who don’t have them or can’t afford them.”
Mayor Nancy Vaughan said, “I agree with you.” She also noted that both Winston-Salem and Durham were requiring people to wear masks.
Vaughan also said that she thought Guilford County allowing the countywide stay-at-home order to expire had been a mistake and gave people the impression that the crisis was over.
Councilmembers Goldie Wells, Michelle Kennedy, Marikay Abuzuaiter, Tammi Thurm, Sharon Hightower and Nancy Hoffmann all said they supported the city mandating that people wear masks.
Hightower said, “I support her in making these masks mandatory. Since the county did not extend that order. People are not social distancing at all. People are even out walking in the park.”
Vaughan said, “I’m very concerned of the mixed message that was sent by allowing the county order to expire.” Vaughan was also critical of the News & Record coverage of allowing the Guilford County stay-at-home order to expire and said that it gave the wrong impression.
Outling noted that while the Guilford County order had expired, Greensboro and the entire state of North Carolina was still under Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive stay-at-home order. And he noted that according to that order people were supposed to stay at home unless they had essential purpose to be out.
Johnson also offered this piece of advice to those that have problems with others keeping their social distance. She said, “I keep a can of Lysol in my car and, if somebody gets to close, I spray them with Lysol. I did it. I actually did it.”