Not very popular commissioner mask mandate


Usually, the Guilford County Council of Commissioners tries to make decisions that reflect the will of the people, but there is ample evidence that the council’s current mask mandate is not one of those decisions.

The board passed the measure last month, making masks mandatory when people are indoors in public places like shops, restaurants and theaters.

Commissioner Justin Conrad, who has seen the emails that have reached the Council of Commissioners and have reached them individually, said that before the vote, public sentiment was overwhelmingly against the mandate.

During the meeting, several commissioners who voted for the mandate also pointed out that they had received a lot of comments asking the council not to implement the mandate. However, they also said they had received responses from medical providers and other groups requesting the warrant.

A county staff member said staff were ignoring the pros and cons on issues such as mask warrants, however, the employee said calls coming into the county were strongly against.

Although the Board of Commissioners approved the mask’s mandate, there was opposition to the decision from both sides. The council’s two Republican commissioners – Conrad and Alan Perdue – voted against, as did Democratic Commissioner James Upchurch.

Upchurch stressed that the masks are just a strategy to fight the virus.

He asked health workers if a vaccine was readily available to those who wanted it and the staff replied that it was.

“So at this point,” Murphy said, “it’s an adult’s personal responsibility to get the vaccine or not to.”

He said he was surprised that a new county health order only concerns masks.

“We are not talking about social distancing,” he said. “We’re not talking about capacity limits; we do not give advice to the public on which masks you should wear because we know that not all masks are very effective at spreading this virus. “

Commissioner Kay Cashion said recently that she certainly saw a lot of opposition to the mask’s mandate, but added that much of it appeared to be via form letters signed and emailed. Cashion also said as the vote approached, support for the mask’s mandate appeared to be resuming.

Cashion said she didn’t like wearing a mask, like most people, but said some small business owners told her they wanted the mandate because it could help them keep their businesses open.

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