The Guilford County Board of Commissioners met virtually at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 2 with Guilford County Health Director Dr. Iulia Vann and Dr. Christopher Ohl, an infectious disease expert with Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, to hear reports on COVID-19 transmission rates in Guilford County and to discuss whether to lift the mask mandate that’s been in effect since August.
Based on that discussion, all indications are that the mandate will be lifted on Monday, Nov. 15 when the commissioners meet as the Guilford County Board of Health. (The Board of Commissioners became the county’s Board of Health about eight years ago when the commissioners voted the previous Board of Health out of existence.)
The November date for the recension of the ban assumes that the number of COVID-19 cases in the county doesn’t spike upward in that time; however, in the virtual meeting, all parties sounded comfortable with ending the mandate on November 15.
In August, the Board of Commissioners approved the mask mandate that imposed fines for anyone who doesn’t wear a mask while indoors at public places such as stores, restaurants and theaters. The fines apply to individuals who don’t mask up indoors as well as to businesses that do not enforce the mandate.
Guilford County Commissioner Justin Conrad – one of three commissioners who voted against the mask mandate last August – has been arguing for weeks that the mandate should end. He said right before the Nov. 2 meeting that he had heard from “30 or 40” people that day who wanted the mandate lifted.
Conrad also said before the virtual meeting that he believed the votes were there to lift the mandate immediately. However, he added, the legal process for rescinding the mask ordinance required a 10-day notice of the public that the recension was being considered.
During the Zoom meeting, Guilford County Attorney Mark Payne acknowledged that state law requires a 10-day public notice before the board could make any change to the mask ordinance – including repeal.
The public notice will go out on Wednesday, Nov. 3 and the board will meet to consider repeal on November 15 – the first weekday that it’s eligible to do so.
Commissioner James Upchurch, after asking questions of the medical experts and confirming that Guilford County was in the middle of the pack statewide when it came to COVID0-19 rates, questioned the effectiveness of requiring masks.
“We have the mask mandate but we are still in the middle of everyone else, and I find that interesting,” Upchurch said.
He also said that counties similar in size to Guilford County that don’t have a mandate are seeing “numbers like ours.”
Vann informed the board that, for the past three weeks, the county’s positivity rate has been under 5 percent. In the most recent week with complete statistics available, the county had a 4.3 percent positivity rate. Three consecutive weeks under the 5 percent mark was one of the criteria the board had set in August as a goal for lifting the mandate.
“This was one of the metrics the board wanted to use,” Vann said. “This particular one has been met and here we are talking about the mask mandate.”
Dr. Ohl suggested that keeping the mandate in place for a couple of weeks should allow some newly qualifying kids to be vaccinated and it would allow the case numbers to come down further before lifting the mandate.
Ohl also said that several North Carolina counties planned to rescind mask mandates in mid-November, so, he added, if Guilford County did so, the decision would be in line with other cities and counties in the state where leaders were planning on doing the same right before the Thanksgiving holidays.
“We’re all kind of knocking on the same doors right now,” Ohl told the board.
He cautioned that the holiday party season that follows could lead to an increase in cases.
Vann also said that Guilford County seemed to be on a path that would allow her to go along with lifting the mandate later this month.
“It looks like these metrics are going to get there in the next couple of weeks,” Vann said of some COVID-19 targets she thought should be hit before ending the mandate.
Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Skip Alston said he called the Nov. 2 meeting to get advice from experts because he wanted the board’s decisions to be “based on facts, not fear and politics.”
Compared to Wake County, over 450 Guiilford County citizens have died needlessly from COVID19. most probably among the poor in Long Term Care Facilities.
No mention of why the head of the Health Dept. resigned.
These people are murdering poor people and pretending it isn’t happening.
This is very good to hear even though I never submitted to wearing a muzzle from the start. I’m sure the COVID/ flu metrics- what ever we are calling this year make no real difference on their decision. It’s probably more about not loosing sales tax revenue with holiday shopping coming up or trying to save face after realizing that nobody was going to comply. – keep Smiling
Ugh, this mean we have to see you in local stores again. Dang. You sure you didn’t like those shopping centers out of town?
Welcome news, though I remain a bit Skiptical that they will actually follow through. If this does happen, thank you Commissioner Conrad. This would not have happened had you not started stirring things up.
As Commissioner Upchurch so pertinently pointed out, counties of similar size to Guilford County that do NOT have any mask mandate are seeing “numbers similar to ours”.
Here is yet more proof that cloth/paper masks are worthless, as demonstrated in the Danish & Bangladeshi real world studies.
That’s just the science.
Again, you keep stating false information even after the flaw in your read of the Danish study was pointed out to you. They were studying if masks had an impact of greater than 50% which it doesn’t but clearly you lack the intellect to fully read and understand the study yourself and are just repeating republican talking points like a sheep.
The flaws in your reasoning have been pointed out to you over and over again – but you keep spewing your vacuous gibberish ad nauseam.
And the Conclusion of the Danish study is indisputable. As stated by the authors of the study, the effect of colth/paper masks on COVID-19 is statistically insignificant. Your blather about 50% is a red herring.
One more thing; you parrot the message of the biggest mass propaganda campaign in American history. The you dare to call independent thinkers “sheep”.
Who is the sheep?
Enjoy your grass.
Two weeks to convince Skip he shouldn’t be scared anymore? IDK
Another, and better, metric to use is how many change their tune when the neck is secured on the guillotine.
We have met the COVID metrics to remove mask mandate for all ages including our children in school. Let’s be reminded of the damage being done to our young population especially seeing the data and or lack of data that supports mask mandates in our schools. Please carefully assess the measurements that will be put in place to reimpose the mask mandate. Cases will automatically be in a state of flux from here on out and masks do not need to be reinstated on a momentary increase in cases. Thank you for your time and careful consideration.
If/when the mask decree is lifted, let’s see if the Skip-the-Hyp continues wearing his.
It’s astonishing to me after almost 2 full years that health departments in light of all the peer reviewed RCS on masks not being effective even in close contact in the medical profession using N-95 masks that places still believe in something when the science and medical studies, not information, not news, not politics, not opinions but Randomized peer reviewed control studies show contrary. It’s astonishes me how listless and uninformed the general public and even some Medical Doctor are on the close to a half a million global cases on adverse side effects of the vaccines, the massive 4th wave in Israel being 85% fully vaccinated, England same problem Western Australia is not having a similar problem. How is this even possible,oh it’s the unvaccinated people of course right? No sir you have it backwards if you evaluate Israel, England, Western Australia and also the UK why are they continuing to see surges when they have the highest vaccinated populations in the world. What about Utar Padesh India having less than 200 cases out of 240 million people in that section of India 5.8% vaccinated yet have been using Ivermectin for the last 11 months yet in the US it’s considered a horse dewormer , well apparently that “Horse Dewormer” seems to be working with flying colors. Much of what Just stated comes directly from the CDC Zoom call Sept 17 2021 if anyone wants to fact check this. oh and lets give the gene therapy to children 5-11 now who are at zero risk when 1 out of 73 people have been having heart attacks, 1 out of 143 people ages12-32 develop Myocarditis but lets just look away at this shall we so we can continue to create mutations and Advanced Antibody dependent enhancement as the vaccines destroy your own antibodies.