Protests and COVID-19, MCHD reminds protesters to practice social distancing

Coronavirus

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — This weekend’s protest saw hundreds in downtown Mobile, demanding justice for George Floyd.

Some wore masks, and some didn’t.

“We are concerned when we see large gatherings of people when they’re not able to maintain that distance,” said Dr. Rendi Murphree with the Mobile County Health Department. She explained, any time the health department sees people not wearing masks in large gatherings, they are concerned about a spike in COVID-19 cases.

So, as protests continue, the fear is that those cases will continue to climb.

“I think often what happens is in the emotion of a protest, some of those protective measures maybe are forgotten, maybe not adhered to and you’re certainly putting yourself at more risk of COVID transmission even if you are out in a congregate area,” said Murphree. She added, “it’s no different than any other gathering so the amended Safer at Home order still applies to protests, you’re to stay six feet apart, wear a face covering.”

Mobile County did see confirmed cases of the virus go down last week from the week before, but there are still concerns.

Dr. Murphree says peaceful protest is important and encourages it for people who want to express themselves. But, the health department asks those who do, to still follow social distancing guidelines.

MURPHREE: “Please wear a cloth face covering, you may be able to get creative and use that as part of your protest, carry hand sanitizer with you, maintain that six ft distance,” said Dr. Murphree.

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