CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – Over the past few days thousands of protesters have joined together to demand justice for the death of George Floyd.
Since Saturday evening, hundreds of people have assembled to raise awareness about racism and police brutality- after the death of George Floyd.
But we are still in a global pandemic – so this leaves the question about whether or not these protests will cause a rise in coronavirus cases?
The City of Chattanooga’s Covid-19 task force explains
“It is obviously concerning to our task force that whenever you have huge numbers of people and at times these protests have reached several hundred people. The concern is that there will be some spread of the coronavirus. We are sure it is going to occur and will not be surprised at all at a spike in positivity a few weeks from now as results start to come in,” says Kerry Hayes, Chattanooga Covid-19 task force.
Throughout the pandemic, the CDC and the city of Chattanooga have been encouraging people to wear a mask in public and stay six feet apart.
Kerry Hayes with the city of Chattanooga says its obvious social distancing will be compromised when there are a lot of people contained in one space.
A chattanooga protester says she did take the risk of getting sick into consideration – but says she couldn’t just sit at home and watch.
“Racism is frankly a larger issue and a lot more people have died from racism than the coronavirus and we need to stop. This is an older issue and it has killed so many more. While we need to be safe , this still needs to happen,” says Bobbie Carey, protester.
As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, the city is asking anyone who has been a participant in a protest to get tested within the next few weeks.
For a list of Coronavirus testing sites within the county, click here.