GREENSBORO, N.C. — March 27, 2020, was a day many stay-at-home orders went into effect, including one in Guilford County, as leaders worked to slow the spread of the coronavirus amid a global pandemic.
Now three years later on March 27, 2023, COVID-19 looks much different as we head into spring.
Major hospital systems like Cone Health, along with Novant Health and Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist are lifting mask mandates inside hospitals and treatment facilities.
The number of cases, hospitalizations and virus transmission rates continue to drop and health experts say we are entering a new stage of the virus.
"We feel that herd immunity is much higher than it has ever been," said Dr. Cynthia Snider, Infection Prevention Medical Director at Cone Health.
Stepping away from universal masking will give a choice to patients, staff and visitors.
There is still some responsibility. Anyone who may have symptoms or has been exposed to the virus should wear a mask inside the hospital.
Masks will still be worn around immunocompromised and cancer patients.
"We're not saying forget it, still take note of the things we've learned in the last 3 years," said Dr. Snider.
Those things include not visiting friends when you have symptoms, wearing masks in crowded settings with poor ventilation, and making sure you are up to date on your vaccines.
As we head into the spring season with spring break trips and Easter gatherings happening, experts anticipate we will see some COVID-19 metrics rise, but not to any level of concern.
If you do get COVID-19 remember these CDC guidelines:
- Stay home and isolate for 5 days
- After 5 days in isolation, wear a mask for 5 more days