Cities with large protests have not seen a spike in covid cases a month later

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You know how so many protesters in the massive uprisings around the US and the world starting last month were wearing masks? It turns out that they work! The New York Times is reporting that there have not been spikes in covid cases in cities with large protests. People Magazine has a report compiling stories and data from different sources:

While parts of the U.S. are seeing record-breaking numbers of new infections, there is “no evidence” that protests led to increased cases, researchers have found.

The mass protests against racial injustice began in Minneapolis after Floyd was killed in the city on May 25 and spread throughout the country by the following weekend. With thousands of protesters gathering in close quarters on city streets, public health officials and political leaders worried that the protests could become “super-spreader events,” as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said on May 31.

But nearly a month later, cities with large protests have not seen an increase in COVID-19 cases, and many are actually seeing their numbers go down.

In Minnesota, new cases of COVID-19 hit their peak on May 23, with 840 new infections, and that number has gone steadily down ever since, according to The New York Times’ tracking data. Over the last week, the number of new cases in the state have gone down by about half. On Monday, the state reported four new deaths from the virus, the lowest since April 13.

Health officials in the state said Wednesday that of 8,500 protesters who have been tested for COVID-19, the positivity rate is just 0.99 percent.

“We’re delighted that we are not seeing a huge increase in cases,” Kris Ehresmann, the infectious disease division director at the Minnesota Department of Health, said at a media briefing, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Looking at nationwide statistics, a new study that has not been peer-reviewed from the National Bureau of Economic Research used anonymous cell phone tracking data and data from the Centers for Disease Control on new coronavirus cases in 315 cities to determine if protests had an effect on the infection rate. No association was found.

“We find no evidence that urban protests reignited COVID-19 case growth during the more than two and a half weeks following protest onset,” the researchers wrote. “We conclude that predictions of broad negative public health consequences of Black Lives Matter protests were far too narrowly conceived.”

[From People]

“Anonymous cellphone data.” I’m sure the government is keeping track of specific protesters based on that “anonymous” data. It turns out that protesting for social justice doesn’t spread the virus more than usual because people are smart and careful, but that going to indoor restaurants, getting haircuts without masks, and screaming in police officer’s faces about being able to do those things does. (My mom told me her hairdresser just died at 51, and while the salon isn’t releasing his cause of death this was in Florida and it was a busy place that reopened weeks ago.) We’re still waiting to see how many people got covid from going to Trump’s Nazi rally in Tulsa. The K-Pop squad surely saved lives, because a bunch of his staffers tested positive already.

Also, thank you to all the activists, protesters and donators! You can continue to help by donating to bail funds.

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Photos credit: Josh Hild, marco allasio, Life Matters via Pexels

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20 Responses to “Cities with large protests have not seen a spike in covid cases a month later”

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  1. Mia4s says:

    I think it is important to stress that there was serious risk in holding these protests in the midst of a pandemic, but by following recommendations from public health and scientists, the risk was managed. Literally it was like a check list of doing it right:

    1. Masks
    2. Holding the gatherings outside
    3. Encouraging social distance
    4. Distributing hand sanitizer

    It’s not rocket science! Keep it up.

  2. qtpi says:

    In MN we have been on pins and needles watching for an uptick. I know people were walking around handing out masks and we had a very high percentage using them. Our gov has held off the best he could but has faced significant pressure to open up faster.

  3. pamspam says:

    I protested in Los Angeles a few weeks ago. I was masked, as was just about everyone. We kept as much distance as possible. During the times we had to be closer, as when we were marching through a tunnel, I double masked.

    One of the women in my group of 6 tested positive 4 days later, but it’s very likely she was already infected and asymptomatic the day of the protest. We were all very close to her, and the rest of us have tested negative, so I believe the masks and precautions worked.

    We’ve had some increase in positives here in LA, but I believe this is attributed to people getting careless and not taking precautions (not wearing masks, not distancing…) as restrictions lifted a bit.

  4. Mina_Esq says:

    But of course Trumpsters on Twitter are using this as proof that COVID19 is no big deal and fear surrounding it as construct of liberal media 😡 If you want to lose all faith in humanity, Twitter is the place to go 😔

    • Annaloo. says:

      Mina– no worries, you will have your counterpoint! I got ya. If you just look at the states that are facing rising numbers and increased hospitalizations, you’d be looking primarily at Republican states. In fact, worldwide, the countries under far right dictators- Brazil, Russia and the US – are proving the points of their countries’ bad leadership.

      I wish someone would really drive these points home. The BLM protesters know what’s up, and naturally look out for one another by wearing masks and social distancing.. it’s the Trump neanderthals who only care about themselves that have propagated an increase, proving that selfishness is their downfall. , I am sure of it.

  5. Tiffany says:

    Because the protesters care about their fellow protesters and know getting someone else sick is not the reason they are out there.

    People who wear mask know they are protecting other people. People who do not wear them just don’t give a damn about anyone.

    • Jess says:

      Exactly. It’s just selfish to not wear a mask, and I’m in the Deep South so I see it A LOT. My area has seen a huge increase the last week, and of course people are blaming the peaceful protestors. I work in urgent care and we had a ton of positives recently, idiots coming in without a mask coughing and sniffling all over the fkng place insisting it’s just a sinus infection, the look of shock and terror when they hear their test was positive is almost comical. You can see their brains running back in time trying to figure out who they might have just killed with their selfishness, they truly believed it was all a hoax and they wouldn’t get it.

    • Case says:

      It’s unbelievable to me how people don’t understand wearing masks is not about them. It’s a selfless act that involves being a caring, functional member of your community and society as a whole. It’s about protecting one another and allowing each other to resume some normal activities without being scared to death. It’s about letting people return to work safely without fearing for their life.

      My dad is dealing with people in his office who refuse to wear masks, even in meetings in close quarters (which they shouldn’t be having to begin with). It makes me so angry that they’re outwardly showing they don’t respect or give a damn about their fellow coworkers and their families. It’s so selfish. Even if they’re personally not worried about getting the virus, many people are, or are worried about the people they may spread it to. It scares me how little compassion people have for one another in such a scary time.

  6. SamC says:

    I’m listening to Charlie Baker’s (Mass. Governor) daily COVID update as I’m reading this and he noted the same thing as other commenters. Protests were outdoors, almost all wearing masks, people were moving and while thousands of people there was caution in how close they got to each other.

  7. LunaSF says:

    This is good news. Sorry about your mom’s hairdresser though, 51 is so young to die!
    Outdoor events seem so much safer than indoor events these days.

  8. jferber says:

    That’s God’s divine grace, sparing people who do God’s good work. That’s not actually my bent of thought, but thank God the protesters of injustice are okay.

    • Who is Justice Beaver? says:

      As someone raised freaky deaky religious (Pentecostal) and always saw it for the freakshow it was and is, but still harbour an inexplicable belief in God that is hard to reconcile, please let me say, you worded that absolutely perfectly. Thank you.

  9. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Unlike the HUGE spike on cases after all those entitled white militia boys showed up with their guns to protest against…having to wear masks. 19,000 new cases came from those little gatherings

  10. Case says:

    I’m thrilled that spikes can’t be traced back to these protests. For political reasons, and also on a personal level, because it proves that wearing masks and holding gatherings outside truly does help. I haven’t exactly reentered society just yet — I honestly don’t plan to live “normally” until we have a vaccine because I just can’t justify risking my life or my family’s life to go to a bar or a theme park. But knowing that masks, social distancing, and staying outside when possible is fairly safe makes me feel a little more comfortable resuming some activities.

  11. Sorella says:

    I’m still glad I don’t live in the US with the horrible numbers still happening there and likely to increase from the crowds I’m seeing (on tiktok alone- the houseparties and family gatherings in the US are jam-PACKED!) With Trump as your leader, not even I trust the stats coming out!! Every country has their Covid issues, but most don’t have an idiotic leader delivering crazy messages about it.

    • Lucky Charm says:

      And our idiotic leader said just the other day we’re doing too much testing; that if we didn’t test we wouldn’t have any cases!

  12. Mia LeTendre says:

    It’s been 3 weeks in seattle and we had a 70% spike.

    • Lucky Charm says:

      That 70% spike isn’t because of the protests, it’s from King County (where Seattle is located) opening up to Phase 2. Not wearing masks indoors when in close proximity to other people is the problem, not mask-wearing protesters marching outside.