Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan issued an emergency proclamation that will require people in Greensboro to wear masks when out in public, except when they are walking or exercising.

Vaughan certainly changed her tune since the June 16 City Council meeting when she spoke at length about a mask ordinance.

At that meeting Vaughan said, “I don’t know that us doing a mask ordinance would really do much, because I don’t know that we could put the enforcement behind it. Because what I’m hearing from our fellow mayors is that they are not enforcing it and I think that police have enough to do right now. Having them go around and police an ordinance, it would just put more pressure probably then they have the bandwidth to handle right now with everything that is going on. We have to continue to press that message, how important that is for people to wear masks and under what conditions.”

Vaughan added, “We went over 2,000 confirmed cases this past weekend. One of five counties that went over that.”

Guilford County with a population of about 520,000 is the third largest county in North Carolina with about 150,000 more people than Forsyth and about 200,000 more than Cumberland.

It should be expected for Guilford County to have more cases than most counties in North Carolina. For Tyrrell County with a population of 4,000 to have 2,000 cases would mean that half the people in the county would have tested positive for COVID-19.

Vaughan also said that Guilford County had had 99 deaths from COVID-19 in just three months and “that is a large part of our population.” Actually it is a tiny part of the population – about 0.0192 percent to be more precise.

In fact, 99 deaths is not a large part of the deaths in Guilford County. According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, in three months in 2018 there were about 1,150 deaths in Guilford County. So if this is a similar year, 99 deaths in three months has been about 8.6 percent of the deaths in Guilford County.

And of course the number of COVID-19 cases is going up – it’s a cumulative number. If 100,000 people are tested and one person tests positive, then the number goes up. The number can’t go down.