County’s mask mandate, COVID-19 orders will be allowed to expire Monday
The Warren County Board of Supervisors on Monday said the county’s existing COVID-19 emergency orders will likely be allowed to expire May 3, ending a mask mandate that will have been in effect for 287 days.
By allowing the order to expire, the county will no longer require masks to be worn within public buildings and no longer ask employers to screen employees. Instead, the county will strongly urge residents to continue safety measures and will leave any mask or social distancing measures up to individual businesses.
“I am in favor of offering the release and see what happens,” District 1 Supervisor Ed Herring said.
“This would leave it to businesses to make their own decisions,” Dr. Jeff Holland, President of the Board of Supervisors said. “To that point, we are on the forward side of the curve and people are expecting to see what we are going to do.”
As the number of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine that have been administered to Warren County residents has increased, the number of new cases of the virus has remained low. April is on pace to have the second-lowest number of new cases of any full month of the pandemic.
Through Wednesday, the county has seen a total of 91 cases reported in April, an average of 3.25 per day. The lowest month of the pandemic was last April, the first full month of the pandemic when the county averaged 2.2 cases per day.
But while the county’s mask mandate is set to expire, those entering the Warren County Courthouse will still be required to wear a facemask.
“The areas and offices within the courthouse do not necessarily have space to socially distance,” Holland said. He also added that officials with offices within the courthouse have asked that masks continue to be required for anyone within the courthouse.
Holland said masks would still be required at all other county-controlled facilities and offices, and that signs would be placed reminding those entering the buildings of the mask policy.
While the county’s orders will likely expire Monday, the city’s mask mandate will likely be extended another two weeks. Mayor George Flaggs Jr. is set to announce the city’s plans during a press conference Friday.
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