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As Protests Continue, Worries About New Outbreaks Are Raised

The WHO issued guidelines on lowering virus risks at protests, including staggering arrivals and social distancing.
Posted at 12:46 PM, May 31, 2020

As protests escalate across the United States this week, fears of another coronavirus outbreak are being raised.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, whose city is one of many to experience civil unrest this week, urged protesters to get a COVID test this week. 

 The mayor said, “There is still a pandemic in America that’s killing black and brown people at higher numbers.”

Protests were sparked this week after a black man, George Floyd, died in Minneapolis after a white office pinned him to the ground with a knee to his neck. Many of the protests have turned violent — with stores being looted and buildings burned.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz stressed that Minnesotans "are still in the middle of a pandemic." While Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey added the city has “two crises that are sandwiched on top of one other.”

As protests continue, the World Health Organization released new guidance on holding mass gatherings during a pandemic. The U.N. organization said events should limit the duration of the event, stagger arrivals and encourage social distancing and handwashing.

While the WHO said the risks of transmitting coronavirus should be weighed when deciding to hold the gathering, the health organization acknowledged "mass gatherings have substantial political, cultural, social, and economic implications."