Like it or not mask mandates are coming.

The City of Greensboro announced on Wednesday, Jan. 5 that masks would be required in all city facilities beginning on Monday, Jan. 10.

Since Guilford County lifted its countywide mask mandate last November, the city has “strongly encouraged” that masks be worn in city facilities and city employees were required to wear masks when they were in public portions of city buildings.

However, there for a brief period people were not even required to wear masks at City Council meetings and some councilmembers did not.

It has now been widely reported that single-ply cloth masks like the ones provided by the City of Greensboro are not effective, and at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 4, a number of members of the City Council and city employees were wearing more substantial masks. 

However, the press release from the city makes no mention of the type of mask that must be worn in city facilities, only that a mask must be worn.  So according to the press release a single ply cloth mask that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health officials does little to stop the spread of COVID will suffice.

So the city is not requiring people to wear masks that may actually work in city facilities but is requiring people to wear “face coverings or masks.”

Earlier this week Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan spoke against a countywide mask mandate that would require that masks be worn indoors in all public places such as stores, restaurants, clubs and bars.  But she said one of her main concerns was the lack of enforcement.  Vaughan said the city did not have the manpower to enforce such a mask mandate and that the county offered no assistance in enforcing the mandate in the City of Greensboro.

There is not such issue with a mask mandate for city facilities, which will be enforced by city employees and security personnel.  The city will provide masks at the entrances for people who need them.

In the press release, Interim City Manager Chris Wilson said, “It’s imperative for the City to be vigilant and maintain the focus on public safety. I encourage the continued cooperation and understanding from our employees and the public to do their part to help us get through this pandemic.”