No cases of COVID-19 linked to rallies in the east

Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 7:21 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Statistically, some recent political rallies in the east presented higher-than-normal risks of contracting COVID-19.

According to health officials, however, no cases have been linked to any of those rallies, including President Trump’s visit to Greenville, which drew thousands Oct. 15 to the Pitt-Greenville Airport.

“[Tracing cases back to rallies] would be difficult to do sometimes, because if you were in a group, how do you know you were exposed?” asked Pitt County health director Dr. John Silvernail.

Silvernail says a recent increase in daily cases is, instead, a natural result of a larger spike that occurred when students returned to East Carolina University.

“Yes, we went over a peak and came down into a little bit of a valley and went up, and I would argue that that is the undulation of a flattened curve and not a new wave of infections,” said Silvernail.

Governor Cooper says contact tracing is important, but not 100-percent effective at identifying the cause of every infection.

“There’s a lot of work that goes into contact tracing, but particularly people feel sometimes uncomfortable talking to contact tracers who are trying to find out where things came from.”

Cooper mentioned his concerns with campaigns gathering thousands of people in close quarters multiple times each day.

“I’m really concerned about campaigns flying all over the place, coming into North Carolina, holding these large events, gathering a lot of people, also people from out of state and then leaving,” said the governor.

Cooper and state health secretary Mandy Cohen Wednesday reiterated the importance of wearing a mask, and getting tested, touting ramped-up testing efforts as the holidays approach.

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