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Marketing & Communications

Posted on: August 12, 2022

City State of Emergency to Remain in Place

Mayor Allen Joines said today that he intends to keep in place the state of emergency that he declared in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, even if Gov. Roy Cooper lifts his state of emergency declaration for North Carolina next week.

“Forsyth County remains in the high-risk category, and our case numbers are still high,” Joines said. “I have consulted with our local medical experts and we are in agreement that for now, the prudent course of action is to keep the local state of emergency in effect. This allows the flexibility of taking quick measures should it be necessary to protect the public health.” 

Dr. Christopher Ohl, with Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Infectious Diseases, said that the COVID-19 virus remains a threat. “The latest variants are more contagious than before, and this is reflected in the number of new cases that are being reported weekly,” Ohl said. “We don’t know what the fall will bring, and the state of emergency is an important tool that the mayor needs to keep at his disposal.”

Joshua Swift, the director of the Forsyth County Department of Public Health, urged residents to stay up to date on their vaccinations, get tested if sick and wear masks indoors if they are at high-risk or concerned about catching COVID-19. “The latest variants have resulted in more cases among the vaccinated,” Swift said, “but the chance of you getting seriously ill is greatly reduced if you have been vaccinated and boosted.”

Joines issued his state of emergency declaration on March 13, 2020. He has subsequently issued 13 amendments to that initial declaration in response to changing circumstances over the course of the pandemic. The most recent amendment, issued Feb. 28, lifted the city-wide mask mandate but kept the state of emergency in effect.

The state of emergency declaration and the amendments are posted at CityofWS.org/COVID19.

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