Gaston County commissioner blames Gov. Cooper’s leadership for 312% increase in COVID-19 cases

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GASTON COUNTY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Gaston County saw about a 312 percent increase in COVID-19 cases in the county over the last two weeks, and one county commissioner has pointed the finger at Gov. Cooper’s leadership.

According to Commissioner Tracy Philbeck, Gaston County has led the State when it comes to dealing with the coronavirus.

“We worked with our local hospital, healthcare professionals, health and human services, emergency management, and law enforcement on a plan to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. We saw great results and in fact our curve was beginning to flatten,” Philbeck said in a statement he shared Thursday morning.

Coronavirus in NC: Another record-high number of hospitalizations; Cases approach 48,200; Here’s a county-by-county breakdown of cases

Commissioner Philbeck said Gov. Cooper’s decisions resulted in Gaston County’s spike in cases.

“Governor Cooper decided counties could not do an adequate job and usurped the authority of local governments to deal with the issue. The result has been devastating. The 312% increase in COVID-19 cases in Gaston County is a direct result of Governor Cooper’s leadership and lays at the feet of all of those that continue to support a plan that is failing the people of North Carolina,” Philbeck said.

From May 30, 2020 to June 12, 2020 the percentage of COVID-19 tests coming back positive leapt to 11.17 percent from 5.14 percent. The number of people also hospitalized for coronavirus symptoms went from single digits mid-May to more than 20 people in the last week.

As of Wednesday, June 17, the North Carolina Dept. of Health and Human Services reported that 576 Gaston County residents had tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began.

Health officials continue to urge Gaston County residents to monimize the spread of the virus by wearing face coverings, staying at least six feet away from others when out, and washing hands.

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