MATTHEWS – Town Commissioner Larry Whitley was saddened to hear how a former colleague’s 38-year-old daughter passed away from COVID-19 one day after experiencing painful symptoms and three days prior to getting the vaccine. 

“I’m hearing a lot of young people that are dying now,” Whitley said. “That’s really hurting my heart. In my congregation, I tell my people, 'Get the shot. Don’t wait.'”

COVID-19 has hit closer to home for the pastor. His son-in-law, as well as the young man’s cousin, wound up in the hospital  from COVID-19. The cousin passed away at 42 years old. 

It’s one of the reasons why Whitley has supported Mecklenburg County’s public health rule requiring face coverings be worn in indoor public places. That rule will go into effect on Aug. 31. 

Matthews, Charlotte and Mecklenburg County passed proclamations calling for the masks to be worn sooner. The town proclamation required them in indoor public places, businesses and establishments beginning Aug. 20. 

“Immediate action is needed to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” Mayor John Higdon said. “One of the most important things we can do now is wear a mask to protect ourselves and the people around us – particularly the most vulnerable among us and children under the age of 12 who are not eligible to receive the vaccine. Vaccinations remain critically important in fighting this virus, and I encourage everyone to get the vaccine.”

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