The Public Health Director of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina expressed her concern to convention staff over the lack of mask-wearing at the Republican National Convention.
Gibbie Harris, the public health official for the county in which the RNC is taking place, contacted the convention staff about the lack of social distancing inside the room where the event took place.
“I have been assured that they are working hard to address these issues. All attendees agreed to comply with the requirements prior to attending and were informed that these requirements would be enforced,” she said in a statement on Monday.
Some 336 delegates gathered in the Richardson Ballroom of the Charlotte Convention Centre to formally vote to make Donald Trump the GOP nominee for the 2020 election. This was one-sixth of the GOP’s 2,500 delegates.
According to The Charlotte Observer, at one point in the event attendees gathered close to one another and danced the YMCA, many not wearing face coverings.
There were a further 160 contractors, security, vendors and employee personnel in Charlotte as part of the convention.
Before the event, attendees were advised to self-isolate and were required to produce a negative test result prior to travelling to Charlotte, as well as get tested again on their arrival.
As of Tuesday, 24,472 Mecklenburg County residents had tested positive for COVID-19, and 282 had died, according to the county’s official website
The Charlotte area has the highest number of cases in the county and in the state, but metrics such as hospitalizations and test positivity rate have improved.
The situation for universities that have opened for students, however, has not improved. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill doubled its percent positivity rate of coronavirus tests within the first two weeks after welcoming students back to attend in-person classes.
According to the university’s coronavirus dashboard, between August 17 and 23, 1,528 students took a coronavirus test and 465 of those returned positive.
The in-person part of the convention is now over, with the rest of the RNC taking place in a virtual manner until Thursday. Upcoming speakers include Ivanka Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
On Monday, the first night of the RNC, some of those to deliver addresses were Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, ex-Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Mark and Patty McCloskey, the St. Louis, Missouri couple who became well-known after pointing firearms at racial justice protesters who walked past their house.
Start your unlimited Newsweek trial
Video: Charlotte kicks off Republican National Convention (Associated Press)