Gaston County health officials anticipate spike in cases of COVID-19 following Trump rally

Health Watch

GASTONIA, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- There was very little social distancing in the crowd at Wednesday’s Trump rally in Gastonia. At least 23,000 people packed the Gastonia Municipal Airport for the President’s campaign event.

Gaston County has seen a surge in coronavirus cases and events like this only raise the question if more are on the way.

The airport place was absolutely packed with people. There were temperature checks, but many were not wearing masks and there was almost no social distancing.

The county says that temperature checks are a tool, but not proof on whether or not someone has COVID-19 because people could be asymptomatic and still spread the virus.

FOX 46 asked the county if they’re anticipating a spike in cases from the rally and they said yes.

“We’re looking for some COVID cases to come from this, it wouldn’t surprise us if that was the case,” Gaston County Public Information Officer Adam Gaub said.

It was arguably one of the biggest rallies and gatherings seen in recent memory, during the pandemic. Now that it’s over, county officials say those that attended and didn’t wear a mask need to be watching themselves.

“Anytime you have the amount of people gathered like that, whether it’s a rally or a sports event, religious event, it doesn’t’ matter why they’re there, you increase your risk for spreading COVID,” Gaub said.

Organizers made a point of offering masks, though their wearing was not enforced.

It could be two weeks before we know for certain if there was a cluster related to the rally, so that’s why they’re urging people who think they could be sick, to find out for sure.

“There’s no reason to not get tested, if not for your peace of mind, for those that you come into close contact with,” Gaub said.

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