Clarification on the COVID-19 face-covering health rule – Community News
Covid-19

Clarification on the COVID-19 face-covering health rule

Earlier this month, County Commissioners lowered the threshold for lifting the County’s face on health rule, or “mask mandate.” Here are the details:

    • The original health rule (effective August 31, 2021) stated that the COVID-19 positivity rate had to be below 5% for four consecutive weeks before the mask mandate would be lifted.
    • Earlier this month, County Commissioners agreed to lower the threshold from four consecutive weeks to seven consecutive days. This change corresponds to: time frames of CDC recommendations and recent NC DHHS guidelines for K-12 schools.
    • The revised public health rule will take effect 10 days after publication, on Nov. 17.
    • Once the revised rule goes into effect on Nov. 17, the positivity rate must be below 5% for seven consecutive days for the mask mandate to be lifted instead of the previous rule’s four-week requirement.
    • In addition, once the revised public health rule goes into effect on Nov. 17, any days prior to Nov. 17 with a positivity rate of less than 5% will be considered in the seven consecutive day requirement.

The seven consecutive day positivity rate is calculated on a rolling basis and includes all PCR tests reported to NC DHHS via electronic lab reporting. Using the seven day rate reduces the possibility of random spikes increasing overall positivity.

The updated Face Cover Health Rule is available here.

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