Guilford County Commissioner Skip Alston said this week that he has been in talks with local elected leaders, county staff, and fellow commissioners in an effort to establish a countywide coronavirus task force that will provide a coordinated local response to the disease.

Alston said he will make a motion to establish the task force at the Guilford County Board of Commissioners meeting on Thursday, Nov. 5.

According to Alston, there has been a great deal of buy-in from those leaders he’s talked to regarding the formation of the new group that will include the mayors of Greensboro and High Point, the county manager and the two city managers, county commissioners, the sheriff and police chiefs, a representative of Guilford County Emergency Services, health officials and perhaps others.

“We have to do something,” Alston said, adding that the local response so far this year has been erratic and uncoordinated.

He said that, as the number of cases has risen, the county has been “lackadaisical” in the way it has addressed the spread of the virus, and it’s now imperative that local leaders and health officials take action.

“I want us to do a study and see where the response needs tightening up,” Alston said.

According to Alston, it is important to involve the county’s two largest cities and law enforcement agencies in case some agreed-upon rules need enforcing.

Alston, who has been a very big advocate of mask-wearing since the pandemic began, said that more could be done in the community to encourage the widespread use of face masks. He added that the task force could develop facemask policies and perhaps regulations – along with other strategies – that help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.