Public health officials concerned protests may lead to spike in coronavirus cases

Published: Jun. 5, 2020 at 8:24 PM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - Protests against racial injustice continue all across Iowa and many are concerned that these protests might result in a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Mary Rose Corrigan, a public health specialist with the Dubuque County Public Health Department, said that the fact these protests take place outside is a great starting point but that that does not mean people should let their guards down.

“In Dubuque County, for instance, although we know cases are starting to decline, that is no guarantee that there is not going to be ongoing spread within the community and a gathering of a lot of people provides for a lot of mixing,” she said. “We want people to take precautions if they choose to engage in some of these community gatherings.”

The department is encouraging people to wear masks if they go out to protests.

“Since this is spread through respiratory, either droplet or aerosol spread, the louder and the more you talk the more particles come out of your mouth and nose,” Corrigan said.

She is also recommending that people find other ways to participate if they are feeling sick. People who live with others who are considered to be at “high-risk” for coronavirus should evaluate whether or not it is appropriate to go to the protests, Corrigan mentioned.

She also said protesters should carry hand sanitizer with them to the events. This way they can continue washing and disinfecting their hands constantly.

Copyright 2020 KCRG. All rights reserved.

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