BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore’s health commissioner Sunday urged those protesting the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis to wear face coverings and practice social distancing to avoid spreading the coronavirus.

At a news conference Sunday, Dr. Letita Dzirasa warned that large gatherings have, in some instances, become “super spreader events where multiple people become infected with the virus.”

She encouraged protesters to not only remain peaceful but to follow health guidelines to prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases.

WJZ COMPLETE COVERAGE: George Floyd’s Death And Its Impacts In Maryland

“As a black woman, as a mother to black sons, as the wife and daughter of black men, I stand with those who are hurting, angry and afraid right now. However, as we lift our voices against injustice, we must do it peacefully and safely. The need to use face coverings, to practice social distancing, to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer remain critical behaviors that are key to reducing the spread of COVID-19,” she said.

As of Sunday, the state health department reported 52,778 total confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,411 confirmed deaths in the state. The number of hospitalizations fell to 1,183, the lowest level since April 15, state officials said.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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