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September 20, 2021

Wilkesboro, North Wilkesboro implement mask mandate

September 1, 2021:

Yesterday, the mayors of Wilkesboro and North Wilkesboro, with the support and endorsement of their elected boards, signed separate orders declaring States of Emergency in their respective towns. To take effect this afternoon at 5 p.m., the orders require face coverings be worn inside establishments open to the public. These actions were taken to help battle the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, and mitigate the strain on community medical resources being caused by the virus. The order applies to both unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals.

Chad Brown, President of Wilkes Medical Center, supports the towns’ decisions. “As the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations increase locally, statewide and nationally we must take every possible measure to keep ourselves, our loved ones and the community safe.”

Despite improved transmission rates in the spring/early summer, Wilkes County is currently experiencing a frightening spike in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant. Of the 131 deaths in the county since the onset of the pandemic, 10 occurred in the last 11 days. On average, 1 in 5 tests are positive and only 35% of the county is fully vaccinated.

Due to high case numbers and the virus’s ability to spread from asymptomatic or even pre-symptomatic individuals, indoor public settings remain risky sites of substantial transmission for unmasked individuals. Recently, the Wilkes County Board of Education voted to require masks in schools for the next 30 days. The Wilkes County Board of Health passed a resolution on Tuesday, August 31, 2021 urging all residents and business to follow mitigation measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19in the community. The Wilkes Health Department believes that the towns’ actions are a step to support the Wilkes community and help neighbors stay healthy and safe. Per CDC recommendation and robust evidence, face coverings, in conjunction with vaccination, must be used to halt transmission and help end the pandemic.

Under the order, establishments may refuse service to those who fail to wear a face covering (with certain exceptions such as children younger than two, restaurant dining, bona fide medical exemptions, etc.) and adopt additional protective provisions. Upon request, the municipal police forces will support Wilson Hooper, Town Manager Tel: 336-667-7129, email: townmanager@north-wilkesboro.com, or Web: www.north-wilkesboro.com businesses’ refusal right by removing noncompliant individuals in accordance with North Carolina state trespassing laws.

Brown, of Wilkes Medical Center, added that “properly wearing a mask indoors and practicing social distancing outdoors are key to helping prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. On behalf of WilkesMedical Center and our entire health system, we wholeheartedly support these important safety measures that can make a real difference in the fight against COVID-19.”The full text of the orders can be read at the links below:

1 Comment

  1. Curtis on September 2, 2021 at 9:22 am

    I guess I will not be traveling to Wilkes Co to make purchases. This is ludicrous to think that the mask protect people. I live near Wilkes Co and make a lot of purchases in that county for groceries, gas, restaurants, and businesses. I actually had an outing scheduled for this evening with several co-workers to go out and eat at one of your restaurants but we have cancelled due to the mask mandate. Just wondering, has anyone done intense research regarding Covid-19 and the Variant before making this decision? Looks like they have not. There are a lot of good people with really nice businesses in Wilkes Co whom I hope will not impose this sanction and remain open.

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