For months, Guilford County government has been moving away from COVID-19 restrictions – loosening mask requirements, providing more face-to-face services and letting members of the public attend county meetings. 

However, the county is now reversing course. 

A mask mandate for county employees has been reinstated; some meetings are moving back to the web, and sources say new COVID-19 restrictions for county employees are very likely to be put in place soon.

On Tuesday, August 3, Guilford County announced that an upcoming afternoon commissioners work session would be held virtually, and no members of the public would be allowed in the room – though, as has been the case throughout the pandemic, the public will be allowed to watch or listen to the meeting on the internet.

Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Skip Alston said on Monday, Aug. 2, that the county needed to do all it could to encourage county residents and employees to get vaccinated.  He said that’s a key to getting back to normal and added that it’s disappointing that many members of the community are reluctant to get one of the vaccines even though they’re free and readily available. 

Alston, himself, earlier in the year, was a little reluctant to get the vaccine.  However, he did get it and he had himself photographed getting his shot.

He said at the time that he wanted to wait until a million people had gotten the shot and, once that happened, he felt very confident about its safety.

Alston publicized that photograph he said to encourage others in the community to get vaccinated. 

The county recently approved nearly $2 million for a community phone bank and for a face-to-face outreach program meant to promote vaccinations in Guilford County.

There’s a lot of diversity in the types of residents around the county and the country who don’t wish to be vaccinated.  The members of that shrinking but larger pool include, in large part a greater percentage of minorities, Republicans and “anti-vaxxers” who are, and have been in the past, resistant toward all vaccines.