The vote to end the mask mandate in Guilford County by the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, sitting as the Guilford County Board of Health, is expected on Monday, Nov. 15.
On Friday, Nov. 12, Interim Greensboro City Manager Chris Wilson sent an email to city employees about how the city would move forward if the Guilford County mask mandate is lifted. This is strong evidence that the county commissioners will vote to end the mask mandate. Greensboro and Guilford County don’t always play well together, but lately the two governments headquartered across the Governmental Plaza from each other have been getting along remarkably well.
Wilson in his email states that if Guilford County does lift its mask mandate, “We will honor their decision for customers/patrons in our facilities, but we will still ask employees to mask up so we can continue to promote personal protection through the holidays when we could possibly see these numbers shift again.”
Currently people are required to wear masks in all city facilities. So if the mask mandate is lifted, only city employees will be required to wear masks in city facilities. If you need assistance, it may make it easier to spot a city employee – just look for someone wearing a mask. Of course, people who chose to wear masks whether they are city employees or not will be free to do so.
Wilson also notes in the email that while the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard for employers with more than 100 employees does not apply to municipalities, that the current policies for city employees requiring either COVID-19 vaccination or regular testing would be in compliance with the OSHA standards.
The OSHA standards actually don’t apply to any businesses right now because the order has been stayed by a US Court of Appeals.
Wilson states, “I know many of you aren’t crazy about wearing a mask or getting regular testing. To be honest, none of us are. Let’s focus on the issue though as we are trying to manage an ongoing pandemic. The holidays are ripe for activities that increase your chance of sickness. We are currently suffering staffing challenges throughout our departments, making it difficult for us to deliver our essential public services to the community.”