Today, Gaston County health officials urge community members not to cease their vigilance in the fight against COVID-19, as the county marks a grim milestone.
The warning is due for the more than 100 deaths related to COVID-19 in Gaston County this week. Every lost person is someone’s parent, child, or loved one, whose lives are irreplaceable.
COVID-19 cases go down and up
After seeing success in reducing the number of cases and hospitalizations from mid-August to near the end of September, those trends have reversed in the past two to three weeks.
Cases have doubled compared to what was observed in August, while hospitalizations have tripled in the last month. Those trends coincide with what is being seen in many other counties, particularly in the western part of the state.
One of the reasons Gaston County launched its campaign Gaston SAVES With its #MaskTogetherGC initiative in September, it was the wait for this fall, when concerns about the start of the flu season and a second wave of COVID-19 cases could create a “twindemic” that could cause significant strain on the healthcare capacity and supply chain.
“We cannot lower our guard”
“This fight against COVID-19 has been a long and difficult battle,” said Gaston County Public Health Director Steve Eaton. “But we can’t let our guard down right now just because we’re tired of dealing with this. We owe it to our loved ones, our local businesses, those with whom we work or go to school, and our neighbors to keep doing the right thing.
“We can roll this back by sticking to the simple things that science tells us can have a significant effect on slowing the spread of this disease.”
The importance of wearing a mask
Dr. Jay Hendler, Medical Director of Pulmonary Medicine and Chief of Staff-elect for CaroMont Regional Medical Center agrees that the simple fact of Wearing a mask could dramatically slow the spread of COVID-19. However, for the masks to be effective, residents must adopt an “all-inclusive” approach.
“It is important to understand that the protection a mask provides prevents you from spreading the virus to other people,” Dr. Hendler said. “If everyone around you wears a mask, then they are blocking their own potentially infected droplets and, in turn, they are protecting you. Wearing a mask should be understood as a common courtesy to those around you. It must be a collective effort ”.
They urge to get vaccinated against the flu
The Gaston County Health Department encourages residents not only to continue wearing their masks whenever they are in public and particularly when social distancing is not possible, but also to get a flu shot this year. In Gastonsaves, the county has created a flu resource page, which includes a button to find locations that offer flu shots.