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Experts recommend protesters take extra precautions to avoid spreading COVID-19

KSN Digital Extra

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Mass protests have spread across the nation over the death of George Floyd, but some wonder if this could cause an unintentional spread of COVID-19.

“Whenever you’re gathering in a large group, particularly with people you don’t know, COVID-19 is a possible risk,” said Dr. Robert Witter, KU Medical Center-Wichita infectious disease.

Wichita City Council member Brandon Johnson says while being out in the community over the weekend to walk in solidarity was worth it, he plans to get retested for COVID-19.

“For me, it’s just being in a big crowd like that, I think it’s the responsible thing to do,” said Johnson. “There were folks without masks, there were folks that were pretty close together, I’m hoping that everyone that attended considers that as well because again it’s a virus that’s still very active, it’s something that can spread.”

Johnson says getting tested is even more crucial for protesters who are African American.

“It’s a killer for people of color, so I think the responsible thing to do is to go get tested and try to make sure that if you are positive that you quarantine yourself or stay away from individuals as much as possible,” said Johnson.

Dr. Wittler says there are a number of things protesters can do to ensure they’re keeping themselves safe and those around them. He recommends trying to keep space in between groups of people, wearing protective gear, such as masks or gloves, and making sure not to touch your eyes, or nose.

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