Democratic County Commissioner Skip Alston is continuing his crusade to promote social distancing and that’s exactly what he did at the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Thursday, June 18 meeting after county staff had set up the meeting the way it has for decades – with all the commissioners seated behind the dais and less than six feet from each other.

Before the biggest meeting of the year – the second meeting in June where the board adopts a county budget – Alston told staff that the seating arrangements weren’t acceptable and he asked for an individual table and chair. So the meeting was held with the board seated at the dais and with Alston seated at his own table on the red carpet in front of the other potential coronavirus carriers.  No man is an island but Alston sort of looked like one at the June 18 meeting.

Alston said before the meeting – as he was helping staff set up his table and chair and move his microphone ­ – that the commissioners needed to set an example since the coronavirus in this state is now as much a threat as ever and it’s vital that people continue to follow the guidance from health officials including wearing masks, socially distancing and washing hands.

The Board of Commissioners has taken many steps in recent months to reduce the spread of the virus, such as excluding the public from meetings and taping off most of the chairs in the commissioners meeting room in the Old Guilford County Court House so that county staff and media allowed in maintain at least three empty seats between each other.

As for wearing masks, the board members have been doing what they have all along. For the most part, the four Democratic commissioners wear masks at meetings and the five Republicans do not.