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Weekend protests in Utah worry state epidemiologist, who urges COVID-19 monitoring

Weekend protests
Posted at 2:27 PM, Jun 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-01 16:42:51-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The weekend's violent protests worry the state epidemiologist, who is concerned about further spread of COVID-19.

"From a public health perspective, the behaviors we saw at protests over the weekend were alarming. As our increasing case counts have indicated, we are nowhere near being out-of-the-woods when it comes to the spread of COVID-19 in our communities," Dr. Angela Dunn said in a statement to FOX 13. "Large group gatherings, especially where social distancing is not feasible or not practiced, are simply not safe right now."

On Saturday, thousands took to the streets of downtown Salt Lake City to protest racial inequality and police mistreatment. The event was originally designed to be a "vehicle-based protest" where people stayed in cars and drove down a designated route. But it quickly changed as people congregated in crowds, marching from the Salt Lake City Police Department to the Capitol.

Protesters and police were seen not social distancing or wearing face coverings. Dr. Dunn told FOX 13 she urged those people to watch for symptoms of the coronavirus, which has infected nearly 10,000 now and killed 113.

"Anyone who attended the protests over the weekend should monitor themselves for symptoms. If they develop symptoms they should seek out testing and isolate themselves until their test results are returned," she said.