Thomas Wolfe wrote that you can’t go home again, but it may very well be the case that you can be required to wear masks again. 

Just when people were getting used to seeing each other’s faces, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners may vote to require masks indoors at public places again. 

That’s one issue that will be determined at an emergency meeting of the commissioners to be held at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 10.

On Monday evening, Aug. 9, Chairman of the Guilford Board of Commissioners Skip Alston said he was calling a meeting of “the Guilford County Board of Health” – which, in other words, is a meeting of the Board of Commissioners. 

About seven years ago, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners voted to do away with the county’s Board of Health and that means that those duties now fall on the shoulders of the county commissioners.

As the Board of Health, the Board of Commissioners will decide whether or not to implement new masks mandates to battle COVID-19 and determine the conditions under which those masks would be required.

The board could also take other steps to battle COVID-19.  By now, members of the public are familiar with the playbook.

Some county employees who do not wish to get vaccinated are worried that the Board of Commissioners will require them.  However, that doesn’t seem, at this point, to be a road the board is likely to go down.  Instead, Alston and other county leaders are strongly encouraging county employees to get vaccinated – and it could be that there will soon be regular testing required for employees who choose not to do so.

Normally, the county commissioners are required by state law to give at least 48 hours’ notice before a meeting; however, the state’s public meetings law allows an exception for “emergency” meetings.

This is the second emergency meeting called by Alston in two days.  On Monday, Alston held a meeting with the mayors of the cities and towns in the county to discuss the pandemic.

Monday evening at about 9 p.m., Commissioner James Upchurch was seeking input from county residents. 

Upchurch tweeted, “Tomorrow, Guilford County Commissioners will be voting on a Public Health Rule that would require masks to be worn indoors. Please send your support or opposition to”