The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reports that there are 7,322 cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County.

What that actually means is that since March a total of 7,322 people in Guilford County have tested positive for COVID-19, which is entirely different.

If the percentage of people who have recovered or died from COVID-19 in Guilford County is the same as in North Carolina, the number of active cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County is about 756. The percentage of those who have recovered or died from COVID-19 is probably not exactly the same as the state average, but there is no reason to think that it would be markedly different, so the 756 number is an estimate. But it is far closer to portraying the reality of the current situation than listing everyone who has tested positive since March as a current COVID-19 case.

The population of Guilford County, according to the latest figures from the US Census Department, is slightly over 537,000. Using that figure and the 756 estimate, the percentage of people in Guilford County who currently have COVID-19 is 0.14 percent.

Wearing masks, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), does not protect the mask wearer. The CDC website states, “There is increasing evidence that cloth face coverings help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others.

The CDC also advises that to be considered exposed to COVID-19, a person has to be within six feet of the person with COVID-19 for about 15 minutes

So if you come in contact with 100 people, the odds are that 0.14 of those people had an active case of COVID-19 or that 99.86 of those people didn’t have COVID-19.

Some studies have shown that COVID-19 is 10 times more prevalent than the testing indicates, but if that is true then only 1.4 people out of every 100 would have COVID-19.