The Guilford County Board of Commissioners has scheduled a special virtual meeting for Thursday, August 26, at 5:30 p.m. to work out the details of a new county mask mandate – after discovering that the board’s previous attempt had significant problems.
Officially stated, the purpose of the special meeting is “to consider amendments to Board of Health rules regarding COVID-19 as they relate to indoor masking, and to transact any other necessary business.”
Just as the board did in a special meeting earlier this month, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners will be meeting on August 26 in their capacity as the Guilford County Board of Public Health. In many counties, these types of decisions would be made by a board of health – however, about seven years ago, the Guilford County commissioners voted to get rid of the board of health – which legally made the Board of Commissioners the board of health for Guilford County.
Just over a week ago, the Board of Commissioners got together and voted a mask mandate in place that was meant to make everyone wear masks while indoors in public establishments. However, according to Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston, there were several points of legal concern that convinced the county not to enforce that mandate and create a new one instead. One issue was that the previous rule didn’t allow enough of a waiting period before putting criminal penalties in place.
The county’s meeting announcement for the Aug. 26 meeting states: “The proposed rule, which would require masks in businesses, establishments, and public places, subject to certain exceptions, would become effective upon adoption and would supersede the current rule on this topic.”
Anyone interested can get copies of the proposed rule by picking up a copy at the Guilford County Health Department facilities or by going online to www.guilfordcountync.gov.
Though county residents would ordinarily no doubt pack the meeting room for this meeting, due to COVID-19, the special meeting will be open for citizen participation through the virtual platform Zoom. Anyone can join by going to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82982628611, completing the webinar registration and selecting the “Join Webinar” before the start of the meeting.
The Guilford County Clerk to the Board’s office can also instruct people how to join by telephone.
Copies of the special meeting’s agenda will be available for review before the meeting starts at https://guilford.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx.
Those with questions can contact Deputy Clerk Ariane Webb at email@example.com.