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Guilford County reinstates mask mandate, mayors comment on the decision

Both the Mayor of Greensboro and the Mayor of High Point want to make it clear they aren't against masks. They are still encouraging people to wear them.

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — On Wednesday, January 5, Guilford County's new mask mandate went into effect. Right now, it applies to Gibsonville, Sedalia, Pleasant Garden, and Jamestown. It does not include Greensboro or High Point.  

RELATED: Greensboro reinstates its mask policy in city facilities

According to county officials, city mayors will have to sign off before the mandate can be implemented within each city.

RELATED: Guilford Co. Commissioners reimplement mask mandate amid rising COVID-19 cases

Both the Mayor of Greensboro and the Mayor of High Point want to make it clear they aren't against masks. They are still encouraging people to wear them. Both have different reasons as to why they aren't fully on board with the countywide mask mandate decision though.

"Everybody knows what to do, we've been doing it for two years," High Point Mayor Jay Wagner said. "I think that a mandate at this point is really about trying to force people to do something that maybe they don't want to do and I just don't think that's the proper use of government power."

"Nobody is against masks and I think that's really important," Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan said.

Vaughan said she has concerns about businesses acting as the enforcer.

Guilford County Commission Chair Skip Alston said they have an enforcement team that will try to help educate folks, but they can't be everywhere.

"Who would be the right person to enforce it if not the business owners," Alston said. "We're not going to have a police officer or an enforcement officer at every restaurant. We're not looking to go out and say I gotcha. It's an educational moment."

For Caden Heugly who works in High Point, he said it's not easy enforcing the rule.

"Business wants business, and you know, we want to make money as much as we can, and if there's a whole lot of people that are not wearing masks it's kinda hard when we're slow like this to be like hey, if they're just going to leave because then we don't have business, but it is how it is," Heugly said. "It's complicated."

The county commissioners will discuss the mandate again at a meeting next Thursday.