GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Guilford County Officials announced new restrictions that will go into effect starting March 25 at 5 p.m.
The new restrictions limit gatherings to no more than 10 people. The Declaration also prohibits the use of public and privately-owned playgrounds. But does exclude playgrounds at private residences.
The County made the decision to enact tighter restrictions based on the input from the Communities Health System Partners in an effort to further slow the spread of the virus and protect the healthcare system and to keep more residents healthy.
Jeff Phillips, the Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners stated, “We are now entering a challenging phase in a rapidly changing situation. We need every member of our community to follow the CDC recommendations, to cover their sneeze and cough, to stay home when sick, to wash their hands frequently and reduce social interactions.”
Phillips said if these measures are taken seriously to slow the spread of the virus, the is hope that the County can postpone the need for more drastic measures such as those taken by larger communities.
The new declaration allows for many business exclusions to these new social gathering mandates which can be found on the county’s website at www.guilfordcountync.gov
"There are going to be some serious consequences if we don't heed to the medical advice that we've been given," said Guilford County Commissioner Skip Alston.
The county hopes these extra measures will prevent more in the future, like a stay at home order.
"We have not had any discussion as of yet for the county commissioners only indirectly with one another but not collectively as a body," said Alston.
Alston said if a stay at home order is issued, it could look similar to other models.
"If you're providing an essential service to the community then you're exempt for that you can go to your job and exercise that duty," said Alston.
That would include medical staff and police.
Although it hasn't happened for Guilford County yet, Alston says he thinks it's a good strategy.
"In order to flatten the curve. We have to do something to keep people from being around each other especially ones that might be affected by the virus," he said.
In response to Guilford County's new restrictions, Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan said, "We appreciate the County’s recognition of the seriousness of this virus and the need to contain community spread. Now that the County has acknowledged a case of community spread we, the City Council, will be looking at additional steps to safeguard the community."