Meck County will cancel the mask mandate once new conditions are met – WSOC TV

CHARLOTTE – Mecklenburg County’s indoor mask mandate will be automatically revoked after the average positive COVID-19 rate falls below 5% in one week, commissioners unanimously approved Wednesday night.

“I hear the frustration,” said Commissioner Leigh Altman. “I read the emails. I urge this community to reach out deeply and understand that we are following the metrics. This is about listening to the science, the data and doing our best to navigate through this. “

Mecklenburg County Health Director Gibbie Harris explained that the rate should be 4.99% or lower for seven consecutive days. A vote or meeting will not be required to cancel the mass command.

Harris said she supports the decision to cancel the mass commander under that condition. She said when the county achieves that goal, it will indicate that the county has moved in the right direction and it is an opportunity to give the public a break.

The current weekly average is 7.1%, but questions have been raised about the measures used.

There is a difference between the county and state percentage of positivity, which has created some confusion. The metric is important because it is the one that Mecklenburg County uses to decide what to do about the indoor mask mandate.

Health department officials said they have noticed that the state is reporting lower rates than what NCDHHS is.

The county health department told Channel 9 that it calculates the positive index by dividing the number of positive tests collected on a given day by the total number of tests performed, however, the figures do not match the state numbers.

For example, the county reports a 7.1% percentage of positivity, as of Friday. At the same time, the state reported 5.8%.

Mecklenburg County Deputy Director of Health Dr. Raynard Washington visited the Channel 9 studios on Wednesday morning and explained that there is a problem with the data returning from the lab and that they are working with the state to resolve the difference.

The district-wide mass command was implemented in early September due to the increase in COVID-19 cases.

The mandate requires that face wraps be worn in any indoor public place, business or establishment within the city of Charlotte and the outlying areas of Mecklenburg County, regardless of vaccine status. The requirement applies to anyone age 4 or older.

(See below: Dr. Raynard Washington explains Meck County’s plan to launch vaccines for children ages 5-11)

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