Raleigh, North Carolina, February 18, 2022
After months of careful tracking of COVID-19 metrics, Wake County government will lift its mask mandate, which has been joined by the city of Raleigh and the cities of Garner, Knightdale, Rolesville and Zebulon. These mandates will be removed as of 5 p.m. on Friday, February 25. Morrisville city leaders are currently consulting with their board of directors about withdrawing his mandate as well. The cities of Apex, Cary, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs, Wake Forest, and Wendell no longer had mask mandates in place.
Wake County public health officials reported they were comfortable with county and city leaders rescinding mask mandates next Friday, a deadline that will give businesses and schools a chance to adjust to the change.
“Some employers may need additional time to put new policies in place for their staff or remove masking signage, and we want to respect that,” Wake County Board of Commissioners Chairman Sig Hutchinson said after speaking with mayors. municipal. “We initially put this mandate in place to weather the worst of the COVID-19 storm, which we hope is behind us.”
The Omicron variant demonstrated that public health departments need to take into account not only the case count, but also the severity of the virus. The good news is that the death rate and number of hospitalizations in Wake County are down, and the vaccination rate is high.
Currently, 190 people with the virus are hospitalized in Wake County. That’s a decrease of almost 54% since January 30, 2022, when the Omicron surge peaked here. Vaccination rates have also increased. Of Wake County residents over the age of 12, a remarkable 89% have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. For more analysis, visit wakegov.com/covid19 .
“Recent trends point in the right direction for the mandate to be removed,” said Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin. “Removing the obligation to wear a mask leaves room for personal choice and responsibility. Those who have health problems or feel more comfortable wearing a mask should feel empowered to do so.”
Masking as a mitigation tool has been shown to be effective in helping to minimize transmission. The use of masks should be supported by all who want to use them and are recommended for:
- People at risk of serious illness, such as the elderly or those with underlying medical conditions
- People who are not up to date on their vaccinations
- Anyone in large indoor gatherings
- Those who live or work in high-risk settings, such as hospitals or nursing homes
- Public transportation and air travel, according to federal guidelines
Employers are free to maintain face covering mandates in their facilities and are encouraged to make decisions that they feel are most appropriate in their circumstances. Some rooms within Wake County Government buildings, such as public health clinics, homeless shelters, detention centers, or courtrooms, may continue to require employees and visitors to wear masks.
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