The mask mandate in effect in unincorporated Guilford County and some of the small towns in the county can be burdensome on businesses that may have to turn customers away or that may be confused about how they’re supposed to handle those who don’t mask.
It can also be expensive to get signs and floor stickers and make other adjustments that encourage masking and social distancing in order to fight the spread of COVID-19.
At the Thursday, Jan. 6 meeting of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, Guilford County Health Director Dr. Iulia Vann announced that the county was preparing “kits” for businesses that to help those establishments enforce the mask mandate. Van said that new assistant Guilford County Manager Victor Isler had been working on the project.
At the meeting, Vann told the Board of Commissioners that the kits for the mask mandate which went into effect on Wednesday, Jan. 5 will include things like educational material, signage, and extra masks to give out to people who come in without one.
“We’re trying to be as helpful and supportive as possible,” Vann said of the county’s efforts to work with the local business community.
In Guilford County Board of Commissioners meetings in 2021 and 2022, there’s been a lot of discussion about how mask mandates affect local businesses, and county officials have been attempting to find ways to help those businesses implement the rule that in some cases – such as restaurants and movie theaters – can result in a serious drop in business.
The mandate can also result in angry customers who don’t want to mask up.
The county also has a website, https://healthyguilford.biz/business, that provides more information, allows businesses to share experiences and advice with each other, and provides other tools.
Currently, the mask mandate in Guilford County only applies to unincorporated Guilford County and Gibsonville, Sedalia, Pleasant Garden and Jamestown – however, the mandate could expand to cover all parts of the county when the Guilford County Board of Commissioners meets on Thursday, Jan. 13 in its other function as the Guilford County Board of Public Health.