Highlands Town Reinstates Mask Mandate For Town Facilities

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Based on directives issued by Governor Roy Cooper on July 29, 2021, the City of Highlands held a special meeting of the Council of Commissioners on August 2, 2021. The meeting included a question and answer session with the Chief Medical Officer of the Mission Health, Dr. Bill Hathaway. Dr Hathaway informed the Commission that the Covid19 Delta variant is of significant concern to the medical community and the general population, and can only be treated with higher vaccination rates and / or wearing a mask. Although vaccination rates are increasing, it is not enough to contain the spread of the virus. If the Delta variant is allowed to continue to spread, it is likely that new variants will emerge that could be even more serious.

Based on the current state of the Covid19 Delta variant and guidance from the CDC, the City Council unanimously adopted a mask mandate for all ‘indoor’ facilities in the City of Highlands effective August 3, 2021 The council is also encouraging city workers to seriously consider getting vaccinated, and information sessions are being planned to help with these efforts. The mandate of the mask does not apply to private businesses in the City of Highlands or any outside setting on City property.

Here are the briefings from Monday’s meeting:

  • Private companies have the option of imposing vaccines as a condition of employment.
  • Covid19 vaccines are currently under authorization for emergency use, but they are likely to receive full authorization in the near future based on safety data collected to date.
  • People who have been vaccinated have a lower risk of spreading the vaccine, but they can still catch the virus and spread the virus.
  • People who have been vaccinated have a significantly lower risk of becoming extremely ill or of being hospitalized.
  • In order to achieve “herd immunity” with the Delta variant, approximately 85% of the population will need to be vaccinated.
  • There is a possibility for a local vaccination clinic if it is determined that it will help more people get vaccinated in the community.
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