BALTIMORE (WJZ) — With large gatherings and protests happening around the country, the big question is: could there be a resurgence of COVID-19, and how could it impact communities in Baltimore that have already been hit hard by this virus?
Over the past five days, large groups of demonstrators have gathered across Maryland to protest the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while in police custody in Minneapolis.
“I feel like this is more important,” a protester named Dorian told WJZ.
“You got the corona, your kids ain’t in school, you ain’t at work,” another protester said.
Dr. Christopher Thompson, a professor and immunologist at Loyola University Maryland, said coronavirus cases could increase due to the recent large gatherings of protesters.
“We have no idea what screaming and chanting and cheering is going to do to those numbers,” Dr. Thompson said. “It may very well increase the risk.”
Gov. Larry Hogan on CNN said Sunday he is concerned about the risks.
“We went from a stay at home order, and now we’re seeing thousands of people jammed in together in close proximity,” the governor said.
“It’s gonna get very messy very quickly for trying to mitigate this risk and spread,” Dr. Thompson added.
Doctors are now sounding the alarm.
“If we’re not seeing wearing masks and social distancing at the least, then we’re running the risk of spreading the disease more,” Dr. Thompson said.
Doctors said this makes contact tracing even harder.
“Even one person that has tested positive for COVID-19 at a protest, I don’t know that we have the resources and ability to test the thousands who were at that protest,” Dr. Thompson said.
Dr. Thompson said if you’re going to go to a protest, follow all the safety protocols. Wear masks appropriately, even think about wearing eye goggles and try to stay a few feet away from people around you.