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According to CDC, Mecklenburg County’s percent-positive rate for COVID-19 falls below 5%

Last week, Mecklenburg County commissioners voted to change guidelines and lift the mask mandate if the county’s percent positivity rate drops below 5% for seven straight days.
Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 10:40 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 9, 2021 at 11:05 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – Mecklenburg County’s indoor mask mandate could soon be coming to an end.

The most recent update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows Mecklenburg County has a 4.99 percent-positive rate for COVID-19.

But despite this, Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Gibbie Harris told WBTV on Tuesday that they do not rely on CDC data for percent positivity, instead using local data. Harris says local data puts the county at a percent positivity rate of 5.1%.

According to the county website, “the seven consecutive day positivity rate is calculated on a rolling basis and includes all PCR tests reported to NC DHHS via electronic laboratory reporting. Using the seven-day rate lowers the possibility that random spikes increase the overall positivity rate.”

Last week, Mecklenburg County commissioners voted to change guidelines and lift the mask requirement if the county’s percent positivity rate drops below 5% for seven straight days. That new mandate goes into effect on Nov. 17.

Related: Mecklenburg Co. officials vote to change guidelines for when mask mandate can be lifted

Previous rules required the rate to be below 5% for 30 straight days before it could be lifted.

The county’s indoor mask mandate has been in place since late August.

There are exceptions to the face-covering mandate. Face coverings do not need to be worn by someone who:

  • Is under 5 years of age;
  • Should not wear a face covering due to any medical or behavioral condition or disability (including, but not limited to, any person who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious or incapacitated, or is otherwise unable to put on or remove the face covering without assistance);
  • Is actively eating or drinking;
  • Is seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired in a way that requires the mouth to be visible;
  • Is giving a speech or performance for a broadcast, or to an audience, where they maintain a distance of at least 20 feet from the audience (the audience is still required to wear a face covering if indoors);
  • Is temporarily removing their face covering at work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulations or workplace safety guidelines;
  • Has found their face covering is impeding visibility to operate equipment or a vehicle.

There have been 157,378 cases of COVID-19 in Mecklenburg County and 1,260 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to the most recent data from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

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