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Gaston County Officials Preparing for Potential Coronavirus Threat

On Monday, March 2nd, public officials representing healthcare, public health, law enforcement, first responders, and local schools met to coordinate Gaston County’s response to COVID-19, the new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, China. As this is a rapidly evolving situation, local officials met to discuss the ways they are preparing to handle the virus within their various sectors as well as ways they can work together to protect the community and share information with the public.

As of March 3rd, there are no reported cases in Gaston County and one presumptive positive in North Carolina; the threat to the general public remains low.

 “While this virus itself is new, our response to these situations is not,” shared Gaston County Department of Health & Human Services Director Chris Dobbins. “We have partnerships, protocols, and years of preparedness experience from similar threats like H1N1 and Ebola.  I’m more confident than ever that our county and partners are doing everything we can to prepare for any local implications from COVID-19.”

Gaston County Government has established www.gastongov.com/coronavirus to share information and resources related to the virus. Additionally, if someone has questions or concerns, they can call the North Carolina Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-462-3821.

If someone is worried they have been exposed to coronavirus, they should call their primary care provider or can call the Gaston County Department of Health & Human Services at 704-853-5009. Officials are emphasizing the need to call first to review recent travel history and symptoms before presenting to any medical facility.

The best things individuals can do to protect themselves from coronavirus are the same things that will protect them from the flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Stay away from people who are sick
  • Get your flu shot! While the flu shot will not protect individuals from COVID-19, it WILL help protect them from the flu which is far more likely to cause health problems to Gaston County residents.