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Everything you need to know about Guilford County's mask mandate

Coronavirus numbers are going up, and that means masks are going back on for Guilford County.

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — An indoor mask mandate is in effect in Guilford County. 

Whether you live in Greensboro, High Point, Summerfield, Jamestown, or any other township within the county, you will need to wear a mask in public indoor spaces. That means in the grocery store, shops, restaurants and bars when not eating or drinking, and other places of businesses. 

Why is Guilford County requiring masks indoors again?

COVID-19 cases are rising at a concerning rate in the county. It's because of the highly contagious delta variant. Health officials say the new COVID-19 surge is sending more people to the hospital, and nearly all patients have one thing in common - they aren't vaccinated. Until a higher percentage of the county is vaccinated, officials say masking is the next best layer of protection.

Where am I required to wear a mask? 

You're required to wear a mask at any public indoor space, including the grocery store, shops, gyms and fitness centers, museums, and restaurants and bars when not eating or drinking. 

The mask mandate does not apply to church or worship services, funeral ceremonies, or wedding ceremonies.  

Can businesses or individuals be penalized for not wearing a mask? 

Yes. Businesses can face fines for violating the mask mandate. The first violation is a $300 fine. The second violation will result in a $500 fine, and every violation after that is a $1,500 fine. 

Individuals who do not comply with mask-wearing rules could face a $50 fine after an initial warning. 

County leaders say the goal is to educate, not punish. They want to make sure citizens understand why it's important to wear a mask right now before resorting to sanctions. 

How do I report violations? 

The number to report Guilford County businesses not following the mask mandate is 336-641-7638. 

When will the mask mandate be lifted? 

It depends on how many people get vaccinated, and how much COVID-19 trends improve in the county. County leaders want to be at a 70% vaccination rate. 

As of Monday, August 16, here's what the Guilford County vaccine rates look like: 

  • Total population partially-vaccinated: 54.8%
  • Total population fully vaccinated: 46.5%
  • Eligible population (12+) partially vaccinated: 63.9%
  • Eligible population (12+) fully vaccinated: 54.3%

County leaders also want to see the percent of positive cases fall below 5% for three weeks straight. 

As of Monday, August 16, here's what the percent positive looks like in Guilford County: 

  • 14-day positivity rate: 8.7% 
  • Single-day positivity rate: 9.2%  

How can I sign up to get vaccinated? 

Guilford County is beginning to see an increase in vaccine demand, so you'll likely need to make an appointment.