Health experts say COVID-19 cases will likely increase with protests and demonstrations

Jessica Miles
Updated: June 02, 2020 08:57 PM
Created: June 02, 2020 05:31 PM

As passionate protestors take to the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul, they gathering in masses at multiple events each day. It raises the questions about the spread of coronavirus, due to the lack of social distancing.

Frank Rhame is an infectious disease doctor with Allina Health who spoke about current events during the pandemic. 


"Absolutely, we should be concerned. We don't know how big of an impact this is going to be," he said.

Rhame added, when people speak, shout or sing, large droplets spray out from our mouths, and being outdoors isn't necessarily a protector. 

"Big droplets, you're not protected against those by being outdoors, the smaller droplets you are, but it's probably the big droplets that are responsible for most of the transmissions," he said.

On Monday, Gov. Tim Walz addressed the concerns.

"I would tell the people who are out peacefully protesting, again, if you're starting to feel symptoms of COVID-19 please isolate," the governor said.

Rhame says those with symptoms should also get tested. 

"I don't think it makes a lot of sense to start testing people today. You want to wait until a week after they were potentially exposed," he said.

Rhame said he thinks cases will rise from these close gatherings.

"We'll see a modest number of cases in two weeks and then we'll see the secondary cases that will produce the bigger consequence," he shared.

He adds, saying if you've been in these protests now is the time to stay away from those at higher risk, and he says everyone should be wearing masks.

"That one is so blessed easy. It's painful to see it not happen," he said.

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