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COVID-19 metrics trend downward in New Hanover County as board set to vote on mask mandate

Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 10:32 PM EST
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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - As the New Hanover County Health and Human Services Board prepares to consider action on whether or not to keep the indoor mask mandate in place for public spaces, COVID-19 metrics appear to be trending in the right direction.

On October 21, after the board set a date for this special meeting, County Health Director David Howard said he expects the board to consider transmission rates when making a decision.

“Those two main criteria for transmission rates are the percent of tests that come back positive from the community, and also the number of cases we have,” Howard said. “That metric is a 14-day rolling average of cases per day. And, so, we looked at that and we said we need to get back to five percent, which is also the CDC’s benchmark for getting us back to a low transmission level and also we want our cases per day to be at least under 100.”

As of November 8, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services shows the 14-day rolling average of positive tests is 2.7 percent, down significantly from the 14.2 percent mark that metric was at on August 31, when the board voted to put an indoor mask mandate in place. The county reported 199 new cases on August 31, compared to just 11 new cases on November 8.

The county health board will meet Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. at the Health and Human Services Building on Greenfield Street.

The New Hanover County Board of Education plans to vote on its mask mandate on Monday, after deciding earlier this week to wait until the county health board makes its decision.

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