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CAPE FEAR MEMORIAL BRIDGE: Updates, resources, and context

New Hanover County health board will reconsider mask mandate in January, citing rising Covid metrics

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Early last month, the Health and Human Services board voted to immediately drop the mask mandate — but officials now say rising positive test and new case numbers have prompted a reconsideration.

According to the county, the number of Covid tests that have come back positive – the positivity rate – has increased, from 2.7% before Thanksgiving, to its current rate of 6.7%

The rolling average daily case rate over the last two weeks has been over 42 — that’s up from under 15 in November.

The county’s Health and Human Services board will hold a public hearing at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, January 18, 20202. The board will review the latest data and public comments – and could vote to reinstate the mask mandate or other protective measures.

According to the county, "the January 18 public hearing will be an opportunity for the board to review current data, receive comments from the public, and determine whether the previously implemented health rule that requires face coverings in all indoor public places within New Hanover County should be reinstated."

Public comments

According to the county, comments can be submitted in advance of the January meeting online through noon on Friday, January 14. The public can also attend the public hearing in person and speak about the proposed rule on January 18 at 8 a.m. Comments must be limited to 3 minutes each and a total of 45 minutes will be allotted for public comments during the hearing, which is in keeping with HHS Board operating procedures.