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Mask mandate a possibility in Guilford County

Guilford County Commissioner Chair Skip Alston said as the percent positivity rate rises, actions need to be taken.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Due the rise in COVID-19 cases, there’s a possibility that Guilford County could go back under a mask mandate, according to Guilford County officials.

Guilford County Commissioner Chair Skip Alston told WFMY, he's worried. The fourteen-day positivity rate has grown an alarming 19.1%, compared to the 4.2% it was back on November 15th when the mask mandate was lifted.

Alston also said he is concerned. He said he will be talking to health professionals Monday and calling for an emergency meeting with the county health board to talk about the next steps. 

Alston said over 800 people have gotten the virus this last week alone, so WFMY News 2 asked him about the potential for another mask mandate. 

"We could possibly see that along with any other recommendations that they might have for us to consider," he said.

Alston went on to say the county has been looking and paying attention to hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19. 

"The mask mandate is one factor we can use but I am quite sure that with the expertise of health professionals we can come up with other ideas to be able to help with also in order to get this rate down," he said. 

Alston said the main goal for the county is to save lives and said until more people are vaccinated, they will do whatever they can to keep people safe.

The mask mandate that was lifted in November, had been in place since August when commissioners voted 7-2 in favor of the rule.  The county said they would also drop the mask mandate if less than five percent of COVID-19 tests came back positive for three weeks in a row. Now, that could be re-evaluated.