Even though our country is currently divided over the Black Lives Matter protests, we should keep in mind Coronavirus is still here. What are the health risks or protesting during COVID19?

Head of Infectious Disease at Upstate University Hospital Dr. Stephen Thomas tells CNY Central that people are trying to express themselves, and trying to do so in a safe way. The mass gatherings of people could result in the spread of COVID-19:

"We would expect between 5 to 10 days to see a huge uptick in the number of cases if there was a lot of transmission during these events," said Dr. Thomas."

How To Be Safe During Coronavirus While Protesting

1) Wear a mask

2) Try not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth.

3) Bring hand sanitizer.

4) If tear gas is used, try to remove yourself from that large crowd.

Pretty much follow the same social distancing guidelines that we have for months now, while out protesting.

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Will These Protests Make Coronavirus Cases Go Up?

The Atlantic reports that the virus spreads the most when people yell (such as to chant a slogan), sneeze (to expel pepper spray), or cough (after inhaling tear gas).

It is transmitted most efficiently in crowds and large gatherings, and research has found that just a few contagious people can infect hundreds of susceptible people around them. The virus can spread especially easily in small, cramped places, such as police vans and jails."

The country should expect a spike in less than two weeks, public-health experts say.