NC officials say protests did not lead to spike in COVID-19 cases

North Carolina news

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- On Thursday, more than 2,000 cases of COVID-19 were reported in North Carolina and during an afternoon news conference, health leaders faced a direct question about whether big events have led to the increase.

“What I think we are seeing is a slow and steady increase in our cases,” NC Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said.

They call those events ‘supespreaders’ because there have been things that have taken place nationwide where there is a high likelihood of transmission of the virus or where a lot of people have gotten sick.

Protests have been a worry since they started last month with thousands of people in Charlotte and across the state and country taking part.

Officials say there is some encouraging news on this front. Studies have shown the rate of transmission at these events is low because many people are wearing masks.

Health officials say there have been other events like the ones at the speedway in Alamance County or even near beaches have caused spread.

Cohen says these events actually do not account for the spike they’re seeing, but they are not helping.

“We haven’t seen one event that has set off a fire in our state like we have seen in other states. I do want to thank all North Carolinians who are doing their part on social distancing and wearing a face covering. I think it is working.”  

Cohen says those outbreaks in those settings are leading to coronavirus being brought home. That may account for some of the disproportionate numbers we have seen here in Mecklenburg County.

“We are not stable yet, and we have more work to do. What we are seeing are cases in at-work settings or at home,” she said.

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