COVID-19 cases in Forsyth County have dropped by 67% in the last two weeks. Though deaths are up 10%, County Health Director Joshua Swift says he still thinks the numbers indicate we've seen the worst of the omicron surge.

“​​What we see in other jurisdictions where omicron hit sooner is cases go up, then hospitalizations go up, and deaths go up," says Swift. "But usually also what happens is it goes up, plateaus and it goes down.” 

But he says that doesn't necessarily mean it's time to get rid of mask mandates. 

“I don't think we're ready yet. If you look at the CDC, 99% of counties in the whole nation are still at high transmission rates," says Swift. "But, as we see the numbers start to fall and the cases start to fall, I think we'll get closer and closer to those metrics.”

In the fall, the City of Winston-Salem set criteria for lifting the mandates: a testing positivity rate of 5% or less, and fewer than 10 new cases per 100,000 residents. 

Current numbers are still much higher than those  – the county is now reporting a positivity rate of 26%, and over 1,100 cases per 100,000 residents.

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