The Guilford County Board of Health has announced that it will hold a meeting on Thursday, Feb.17 to hear an update from county health officials and decide whether to keep the current mask mandate in effect or get rid of it.
Though COVID-Positivity test numbers remain high in Guilford County, mask mandates have been dropping in other places across the country.
However, those who want the mandate gone in Guilford County should not get too excited about the meeting that’s just been called.
The Board of Health meeting on Feb. 17 will take place as a meeting within a previously scheduled Board of Commissioners meeting. The two bodies are the same body in Guilford County. About eight years ago, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners exercised an option offered by state law that let the commissioners get rid of the county’s Board of Health and take over those duties.
Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Skip Alston told the Rhino Times earlier this week that he would take the advice of the medical and health professionals in the county – whatever that may be at the time.
In the past, the county’s health officials and some local medical professionals have favored masking in cases when the COVID-19 test positivity rates have been over 5 percent. Recently those positivity rates have been over 20 percent.
According to the announcement of the meeting sent out by the county, the health board meeting is being held for the purpose of “reviewing public health metrics as it relates to COVID-19 in order to evaluate the following options: 1) to repeal the Board of Health rule related to the reinstatement of mask mandates implemented on January 13, 2022; 2) Hold Board of Health Rule as written to expire on February 27, 2022; or 3) Amend Board of Health Rule to extend expiration until the Board’s next regularly scheduled meeting on March 3, 2022.”
The discussion and debate – likely along party lines, with the Republican commissioners wanting the mandate rescinded and the board’s Democratic majority being much less inclined to do so – will take place on February 17 during the commissioners meeting that begins at 5:30 p.m.
Anyone can watch the meeting by using Zoom on a computer, tablet or smartphone and visiting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82450144791, registering and selecting the option to join from a confirmation email.
Those interested can also view the live stream from Guilford County’s Facebook page or from the Guilford County Meetings and Minutes website at https://guilford.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx.
Another option is to watch the live broadcast of the meeting aired through Greensboro Television Network, which is available on Spectrum channel 13, North State channel 31 and AT&T U-verse channel 99.
There’s also an option to listen to the meeting by phone. The county’s Clerk to the Board’s office can offer guidance on using that method.