On Thursday, May 11, the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency officially came to an end, and, in response Guilford County Government is making changes in the way it handles COVID.

While the official emergency is finally coming to a close, the very first thing that was in the county’s May 11 press release announcing the changes was a message from Guilford County Health Director Dr. Iulia Vann telling people that public health officials will still be there to help.

“Although May 11th marks the end of the public health emergency,” Vann’s statement reads, “it is important to remember COVID-19 will remain a part of our lives. We will continue to provide COVID-19 vaccines. While some things will be ending or changing, one thing remains the same: our Guilford County Division of Public Health is here to protect, promote and enhance the health and well-being of all people and the environment in our county.”

COVID-19 vaccines will continue to be available through the Guilford County Division of Public Health for anyone 6 months of age or older. The health division will still provide vaccine clinics through their on-site clinics and mobile units, and will offer both COVID-19 immunizations and boosters.

Here are some of the changes that will take effect:

  • The county is ending its COVID-19 vaccine appointment phone line. At the end of May, the county’s Covid-19 Vaccination Appointment line – 336-641-7944 – will be shut down.

(Anyone who wants to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine after May 30, can call the health division at 336-641-3245 or go online to myspot.nc.gov.)

  • COVID-19 testing sites will end, and testing may no longer be covered by insurance. The testing site in High Point that was managed by Radeas Labs has already shut down and the StarMed testing site in Greensboro will discontinue its operations at the end of the month.

People will still have access to the stacks of home tests in their closets that they got sent free from the government during the pandemic. Also, through Friday, June 30, 2023, all North Carolina residents can order free, at-home COVID-19 tests by visiting www.accesscovidtests.org.

  • The county’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard will end. Effective immediately, Guilford County will stop its daily reporting of stats to the public and to the state, which has been compiling the data from all 100 counties to determine major threat areas.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) will also stop providing updates to its statewide dashboard. Most statistics for Guilford County will still be available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Guilford County COVID-19 site.

  • Masks will no longer be required in the county’s public health clinic areas. The county notes that masks “are still highly recommended and anyone who wishes to wear a mask is encouraged to do so.”