Guilford County health officials aren’t only concerned with having residents wear masks during the COVID-19 pandemic – they also want to make sure residents have the right kind of masks to wear. 

To that end, in the past week, the county has undertaken a massive effort to get N95 masks into the hands of as many people as possible.

Throughout the pandemic, face coverings have been encouraged or mandated. However, in recent weeks, there’s been a national effort to encourage people to wear the highly regarded N95 masks, which provide more protection than the loose-fitting cloth masks and simple makeshift face coverings people have been wearing.

Guilford County Health Director Dr. Iulia Vann reported to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners at the board’s Thursday, Feb. 3 meeting that the county had worked feverishly to get the masks out in as short a time as possible.

“We worked on this with a variety of different partners,” Vann told the board.  “Our Emergency Services and Emergency Management teams have been absolutely amazing.”

She said partners at the Greensboro Coliseum and High Point University, as well as many others, had been of tremendous help in getting the high-quality masks distributed.

On Friday, Jan.28, the county gave out 10,000 N95 masks in High Point. 

Winter weather delayed a planned distribution in Greensboro the following day and that giveaway was rescheduled for Monday, Jan. 31.  That day, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., the county distributed 60,000 masks at the Greensboro Coliseum.

The county also gave 30,000 N95 masks to various community organizations to give out to their patients and clients.

“Within a week, we have distributed 103,000 M95 respirators to the Guilford County community,” Vann told the board. “It took a village to get it done.” 

She said the High Point and Greensboro police and fire departments had been a big help.

“Everyone came together to get this done,” she said.

The county has no more N95 masks to give out right now.

“We have distributed every mask we have,” Vann said.

The health director said the county had put in a new order to get more N95 masks to distribute.