CHARLOTTE — Mecklenburg County leaders briefed the public Thursday on the county’s latest response to COVID-19, saying the county will be ready to enter phase two by May 22.
County Manager Dena Diorio said the county is recommending people wear a face-covering anytime they leave home and when social distancing isn’t possible. It is not a mandate though.
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Diorio said the county is starting to work on guidance for reopening gyms, indoor dining and houses of worship. She said the plan will be ready for when the county enters phase two.
CMPD Battalion Chief Robert Graham said emergency management is actively preparing for the 2020 Republican National Convention in a COVID-19 environment.
“All indications are we will hold the RNC,” CMPD Deputy Chief Jeff Estes said.
At this point, the department is very pleased with the public’s response to the pandemic, Estes said.
Health Director Gibbie Harris said 2,342 residents have tested positive for COVID-19 to date. She said there is an uptick in daily case counts due to an increase in testing. She said the county’s trends, at this point, are stable.
Addressing the White House report that stated the Charlotte area was a region to watch, Harris said the county has not been given the data used to make those determinations. Harris said there is no data to support that cases have peaked in Mecklenburg County. She said Mecklenburg County has not seen a rapid acceleration to a peak because the stay-at home-order has been effective.
There is potential in the future for testing at retail sites, she said.
“This reopening that is happening across our state and across our country is not a get-out-of-jail card. We continue to be susceptible to this virus,” Harris said.
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Harris said the county is being very careful with antibody tests, and people need to be conscious about where they are receiving them and whether they have been approved by the FDA. She said trends are a better indicator than model projections when making decisions to reopen.
Diorio said she is hopeful guidance and toolkits for phase two businesses will be ready prior to May 22.
Harris said apartment complexes are not allowed to open their common areas and fitness centers. She said people can call 311 if they are concerned a complex is opening them up.
She said Mecklenburg County has not seen a significant impact from South Carolina opening up sooner than North Carolina, and it’s unreasonable to think our county can’t open up some.
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