There’s a tremendous amount of discussion going on right now among leaders in the county as to how to address the rise in COVID-19 cases due to the new Omicron variant.

On Monday evening, Jan. 3, High Point Mayor Jay Wagner weighed in with a reminder of what High Point residents and county residents could do to stem the spread of the disease.

In a press release, Wagner noted that the City of High Point and Guilford County as a whole have seen dramatic increases in coronavirus cases and he added that hospitalizations also jumped up in recent weeks. 

While Wagner does encourage precautions, he stated that he doesn’t favor a new mask mandate for his city.

“Many in Guilford County are calling for renewed mandates to combat the current surge,” the release stated.  “I do not believe in limiting your freedom with mandates, but responsibility is the price of freedom.  We are (still) all in this together!”

Wagner put that statement at the end of his release – though given the current debate in the county it’s probably the most important part of this statement.

In the rest of the release, he calls for action.

“Although evidence shows that infections from Omicron are generally less severe than the Delta variant, the greatly increased numbers of Omicron cases are putting unsustainable stress on our health care systems.  Increased infection rates are also putting added stress on our first responders and public safety officers.  If local cases follow the trajectory seen in other areas, local health officials predict that the current wave of Omicron cases will likely peak in our area sometime between Jan. 9 and 14.”

Area medical workers in recent days have been letting local government officials know that they are seeing more virus patients and they are encouraging local elected officials like Wagner to take steps to keep those numbers of new hospitalizations down.

  “As we begin our third year fighting COVID,” the mayor added, “I recognize that many of you are weary of the fight, but now is the time to redouble our efforts in protecting ourselves, our loved ones and our community.” 

Wagner then called on everyone in High Point to follow these steps:

  • Get vaccinated or boosted.
  • Limit large indoor gatherings.
  • Work from home if possible.
  • Wear a surgical, KN-95 or N-95 mask when necessary to protect yourself and others.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often.
  • Physically distance from others whenever possible.