Charlotte’s LGBTQ workforce far more likely to be infected by new COVID-19 Delta variant community at large. (Photo Credit: Stocksnap.io)

Mask mandates have been a constant source of debate for the past year and a half. In the last few weeks Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles and the local city government have sent a multitude of notices out regarding evolving local mask policies. 

On August 13, the City of Charlotte announced that masks would be required in government buildings — something that Lyles had publicly supported since August 10. Then, as of August 18, a collaboration between the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners, Lyles, Mecklenburg County Public Health and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management lead to the reinstitution of face coverings in all indoor venues, including restaurants, banks and schools. These restrictions will apply to all Charlotteans, regardless of vaccination status. 

 Earlier in the pandemic, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) published an in-depth research brief about the effects that COVID-19 has had and continues to have on the LGBTQ community. 

LGBTQ Americans are more likely than the general population to live in poverty and lack access to adequate medical care, paid medical leave, and basic necessities during the pandemic.

Additionally, of the estimated 16 million LGBTQ Americans in the United States, more than 5 million work in jobs that are more likely to be impacted by COVID-19. This includes those working in restaurants and food services, hospitals, K-12 and higher education and retail industries. Consequently, there is a much greater possibility of exposure to the new Delta variant for an individual in the LGBTQ community..

With that in mind, the future for LGBTQ Charlotteans includes a lot of masks

City officials believe this latest amendment to the State of Emergency in Mecklenburg County and the city of Charlotte will remain in effect until September 1. With the latest resurgence of infections from the new variant, however, it is likely to extend until the end of the year or beyond.  

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