RNC 2020 after-action report shows no cases of COVID-19 in attendees

No infections from RNC 2020 in 800 attendees and an additional 400 support personnel

President Donald Trump speaks during the first day of the Republican National Convention Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Charlotte, N.C. (Travis Dove/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

RALEIGH — An after-action report on the 2020 Republican National Convention activities in Charlotte says there “were no cases that were suspected of contracting COVID-19 at RNC 2020.”

Approximately 800 people, including delegates from 53 states and territories, were in attendance in Charlotte. Another 400 support personnel were in Charlotte to nominate President Trump at the Republican candidate.

The after-action report says that the Republican National Convention 2020 (RNC 2020) “detected no infections among attendees of the Charlotte convention at 5-, 14-, and 21-day follow up points.”

“I am happy to report that no cases of COVID-19 were detected among convention attendees as a result of their attendance at 1, 2 and 3 week follow up,” said Dr. Jeffrey Runge, chief medical officer for the 2020 Republican National Convention.

Reports in August that were critical of the event cited two venue workers who had tested positive and some relaxed mask usage. Mecklenburg County health officials later confirmed that two attendees and two support people tested positive for COVID-19 at the RNC in Charlotte. The attendees were quarantined using a strict protocol and did not come in contact with any other participants.

The report says three individuals showed symptoms during the follow-up points with two of them having other sources of their signs and symptoms. One person contracted COVID-19 from “a known contact at his home during the week after the convention.”

Runge also said that “This means we accomplished our goal of bringing people together to do the work of the nominating process without compromising their health. We are very grateful for the close collaboration with the community, its public health leaders and the health systems, Atrium Health and Novant Health.”

The RNC 2020 implemented a detailed health and safety plan prior to the event, which included a series of pre-arrival countermeasures to make sure no infected individuals attended the Charlotte meetings. Attendees were tested prior to departure for Charlotte and again upon arrival. In addition to pre-screening, a Daily Health Screening was required that included a temperature check and daily symptom tracking.

“Because of the multiple layers of risk reduction implemented in our health plan, we had no traceable infections from the 2020 RNC in Charlotte and achieved the goal of keeping attendees and the larger community safe,” said Max Everett, vice president and chief information officer. “We worked hand in glove with local health emergency management officials in the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County as our priority remained on the health and safety of attendees and the surrounding community.”

The after-action report summary cites extensive in-session countermeasures that included social distancing, encouragement of universal face-mask use and carefully controlled food and beverage offerings.

“The health protocols followed the 5 missions of Emergency Preparedness as identified by the National Response Framework — Prevent, Protect, Mitigate, Respond and Recover — and achieved the goal of keeping the Charlotte community and RNC attendees safe,” the after-action report reads.

In July 2018, Charlotte was chosen to host the RNC 2020 to take place from Aug. 24-27, 2020. When the COVID-19 outbreak occurred, plans were altered, and RNC 2020 added pandemic planning on April 1, with Runge taking point a month later in May. By early August, the Health Protocols Operational Plan was presented to the Charlotte City Council, and the plan was formally published on Aug. 17.

Read the full RNC 2020 after-action report.

About A.P. Dillon 293 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_