Gaston County Health and Human Services said in a statement on Thursday that there are two positive cases of Covid-19 “involving individuals who attended the recent campaign rally in Gastonia.”
The department stressed that the cases “are not believed to be an indication of the spread of the march at this time, but rather are two independent cases among the individuals who attended.” The event took place at Gaston Municipal Airport on October 21.
Last Wednesday, Trump gathered in the suburb of Charlotte, where he told the audience that the epidemic was “approaching the corner.” Trump was due to return on Thursday, but he postponed that rally, citing “gusts of up to 50 miles per hour and other weather conditions,” according to an email sent by his campaign.
Health officials said that due to the number of attendees last week, they are unable to properly connect to trackers who may have been exposed.
“Due to the large number of potential contacts from the march, and the inability to directly alert them, the community is notified so that they can assess their risks and take appropriate action,” the Ministry of Health statement said. “Anyone who was present at the march is encouraged to watch for symptoms and seek testing if necessary.”
One of the people who tested positive for the virus, a reporter who covered the gathering for a local TV station, confirmed his positive test on Twitter.
Goldner said that he called everyone who “interviewed or interacted with” before the positive test result, and that he wore a mask for the entire assembly, but that “secret service protocols” sometimes made social distancing impossible.
CNN contacted the Secret Service for comment.
When CNN arrived, the Trump campaign referred to the county health department’s statement.
Cases on the rise
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, said on Wednesday that North Carolina is seeing a rise in cases and hospitalizations from Covid-19 as the virus continues to spread across the state.
The state has seen nearly 270,000 cases of COVID-19 that resulted in 4,283 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally of cases in the United States.
Cooper said the state continues to monitor hospital admissions, adding: “We have a lot of hospital capacity, a lot of intensive care units, a lot of capacity to work, but you get anxious when you see that creep in, and (Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of the State Department of Health) (She is still concerned about some of the smaller hospitals that are already feeling a little cramped here. “
Cooper said contact trackers are discovering that many cases of Covid-19 come from smaller gatherings of extended family and friends, youth group outings, and family or church meals.
He said: “We often let our guard down when we are with people we know and trust. But knowledge and trust do not stop the virus.”
And Cohen said last week alone that the state had more than 70,000 people to track. Cohen said people are reluctant to divulge information while people pick up the phone.
CNN’s Rebecca Reese contributed to this story.