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Attended a protest? In a crowd? Get tested for COVID-19, experts urge

Posted June 5, 2020 5:35 a.m. EDT
Updated June 5, 2020 5:53 a.m. EDT

State health leaders are urging the people participating in protests to get tested.

NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen reminded the public on Thursday that recent protests calling for an end to police brutality are happening during a public health crisis -- the global coronavirus pandemic.

Cohen said anyone who has been at a protest should think about getting tested for COVID-19.

"If you are protesting, or at a mass gathering a lot, we want to make sure folks do get tested and know that that is available to them," she said.

Cohen said some protesters are wearing masks and social distancing, but others aren't. Despite protective measures, being in a crowd increases your chances of exposure, she said.

If people test positive for COVID-19, they should self-isolate for two weeks to avoid spreading the virus to vulnerable groups.

Cohen said the state wants to identify cases early and follow up with contact tracing whenever possible.

How to get tested

Drive-thru testing sites are the fastest, most effective way to get tested. CVS and other businesses are offering tests, most by appointment only.

Anyone who donates blood with The Blood Connection will receive a free COVID-19 antibody test, which can indicate if someone had the virus.

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