Gaston County COVID Death Toll Passes 100
GASTONIA, N.C. – Today, Gaston County health officials are urging community members not to let up in their vigilance in fighting COVID-19 as the county marks a grim milestone.
The warning comes as Gaston County passed 100 deaths related to COVID this week. Each person lost is someone’s parent, child, or loved one, whose lives are irreplaceable and for whom our community is the worse without them.
After seeing success in driving down case counts and hospitalizations from mid-August to nearly the end of September, those trends have reversed over the last two to three weeks. Daily case counts have doubled from what was seen in August, while hospitalizations have tripled in the past month. Those trends match what is being seen in many other counties – particularly in the western portion of the state.
One of the reasons Gaston County rolled out its Gaston SAVES campaign with its #MaskTogetherGC initiative in September, was looking forward to this fall, when concerns about the start of flu season couple with a second wave of COVID cases could create a “twindemic” that could cause significant strain on health care capacity and the supply chain.
“This fight against COVID-19 has been a long, difficult battle,” Gaston County Public Health Director Steve Eaton said. “But we can’t let up our guard now just because we’re tired of dealing with this. We owe it to our loved ones, our local businesses, those we work or go to school with and our neighbors to keep doing the right thing.
“We can beat this back by sticking with the simple things that science tells us can have a significant effect on slowing the spread of this disease.”
Dr. Jay Hendler, Medical Director of Pulmonary Medicine and Chief of Staff Elect for CaroMont Regional Medical Center agrees that the simple act of wearing a mask could dramatically slow the spread of COVID-19. However, for masks to be effective, residents must adopt an “all in” approach.
“It’s important to understand that the protection offered by a mask keeps you from spreading the virus to others,” said Dr. Hendler. “If everyone around you wears a mask, then they are blocking their own potentially infected droplets and in turn, protecting you. Wearing a mask must be understood as a common courtesy to those around you. It must be a collective effort.”
The Gaston County Health Department is encouraging residents not only to continue to wear their masks whenever in public and particularly when social distancing isn’t possible, but also to get their flu shots this year. On GastonSaves.com, the County has created a page of flu resources, including a button to find locations offering flu shots.