Guilford County Board of Health Issues New Indoor Mask Mandate

Posted By: Jon Lowder Blog ,

The Guilford County Board of Health has issued a county-wide indoor mask rule that will go into effect at 5:00 PM on Friday, August 13, 2021. From the county's press release:

Guilford County Commissioners voted 7-2 to re-instate its mandatory mask policy for all persons throughout Guilford County, regardless of one’s vaccination status. Pursuant to the Guilford County Board of Health rule, individuals must wear face coverings when indoors in all business, establishments and public places. Failure to comply with this mask rule could result in leveraged civil penalties.
County residents and businesses are encouraged to follow all directives and recommendations set forth by the Guilford County Board of Health, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and the Guilford County Department of Public Health.

You can read the full order by clicking here.

The order will stay in place until the earliest of the following: an expiration or termination of the Proclamation of a Local Emergency; modification or revocation by the Guilford County Board of Health; January 8, 2022. The Board will reevaluate the Rule as the COVID-19 situation changes, and particularly if the County's vaccination rate reaches 70% or its positivity rate is at or below 5% for 3 consecutive weeks.

Here's the language from the "Mandate" section of the order:

Section IV. Mask Mandate

Face Coverings Required in Public Places. The Board of Health enacts the following restriction on the operation of offices, business establishments, and other public places:

(1) Individuals must wear Face Coverings when indoors in all businesses, establishments, and public places.(1) Individuals must wear Face Coverings when indoors in all businesses, establishments, and public places.

(2) All businesses, establishments, and public places must require that all persons wear Face Coverings when indoors on their premises.

Exceptions. Face Coverings do not need to be worn by someone who:

(1) Should not wear a Face Covering due to any medical or behavioral condition or disability (including, but not limited to, any person who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious or incapacitated, or is otherwise unable to put on or remove the Face Covering without assistance);

(2) Is under five (5) years of age;

(3) Is actively eating or drinking;

(4) Is seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired in a way that requires the mouth to be visible;

(5) Is giving a speech or performance for a broadcast, or to an audience, where they maintain a distance of at least 20 feet from the audience;

(6) Is working at home or is in a personal vehicle;

(7) Is temporarily removing their Face Covering for identification purposes to secure government or medical services;

(8) Would be at risk from wearing a Face Covering at work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulations or workplace safety guidelines;

(9) Has found that their Face Covering is impeding visibility to operate equipment or a vehicle; or

(10) Is a child whose parent, guardian, or responsible person has been unable to place the Face Covering safely on the child's face; or

(11) Is alone in an enclosed space, such as a room, office or vehicle.

Worship, religious, spiritual gatherings, funeral ceremonies, wedding ceremonies, and other activities constituting the exercise of First Amendment rights are exempt from all requirements of this Rule, notwithstanding any other provision of this Rule.
Anyone who declines to wear a Face Covering for these reasons should not be required to produce documentation or any other proof of a condition. Everyone is asked to tell the truth and-if they are healthy and able to wear a mask-to wear a Face Covering so that they do not put other people at risk of serious illness and death.

Children under two (2) years of age should not wear a Face Covering.