Public health officials warn new cases of COVID-19 probably will emerge after mass gatherings fueled by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and racial unrest in cities across America.
Health experts fear carriers of coronavirus, which causes the disease, with no symptoms could unwittingly infect others at protests where social distancing is simply not taking place. The merits of the protesters’ cause “doesn’t prevent them from getting the virus,” said Bradley Pollock, chairman of the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of California, Davis.
At least one protester in Tampa, Florida, is known to have COVID-19. Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan, who expressed dismay last week about Floyd’s death, tweeted Monday that five of his officers were exposed to the protester, whom he did not identify.
Protesting – especially without a mask – can put people at higher risk for infection, said Dr. Michael Mina, an assistant