As protests against police brutality continued throughout Colorado, public health officials warned about the potential spread of COVID-19 stemming from demonstrations.
Thousands of people have it gathered in Denver for the past few days in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, who died last week after a police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck. Similar protests also took place in Boulder, Colorado Springs, Grand Junction and nationwide.
This is the type of so-called “super-spreading event” that state officials and health experts hope to avoid. Many state restrictions are imposed intended to prevent infected people from transmitting the corona virus to others who gather in large groups. The executive order not to gather in groups of more than 10 people still applies in Colorado.
“As a public health professional, I’m very concerned,” said Theresa Anselmo, who directs the Colorado Nonprofit Association of Local Public Health Officers. “One infected person infects three people infecting nine people infecting 27 people, that’s how exponential growth occurs. And that is a very real fear that this (virus) will quickly get out of control again because of this event that has happened for the past four days. “
Whoever attends the demonstration must monitor the symptoms, Anselmo said. But part of the challenge is that this disease usually cannot be detected for days or even weeks after infection. Plus, some people may spread without knowing it.
“One of the most unusual aspects of this virus is the high percentage of people who show no symptoms that spread it,” Governor Jared Polis said in a press conference on May 20.
On Sunday, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock urged the protesters to do so tested COVID-19 for free outside the Pepsi Center on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
“One of the things we always say carefully is that we are still in the midst of a pandemic,” Hancock said. “And we did see and witness people demonstrating in our community peacefully, and after hours when it was not so peaceful, without a face mask.”
More protests are expected this week. At the same time, Colorado scientists also point out the possibility of a second wave of corona virus cases if the public does not maintain a high level of social distance.
“I want to make it clear that the reason for the demonstration, related to Mr. Floyd’s death, is fully accurate and understandable,” Anselmo said. “And this is all just a confounding factor for everything else that is happening.”
Andrew Kenney from CPR contributed to this report.
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