Health experts warn of coronavirus spike after protests

Posted at 6:28 AM, Jun 02, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Images of hundreds of protesters crowded together are raising a red flag for some health leaders as we continue to face the COVID-19 health crisis.

Locally, we’ve seen some protesters wearing masks and some not.

In Atlanta, the mayor encouraged everyone out protesting to go get tested for COVID-19.

In Miami-Dade County, Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced Sunday that beaches would not reopen Monday as planned after large protests turned violent at times in the county over the weekend.

NBC News reports former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said, “there’s going to be a lot of issues coming out of what’s happened in the last week, but one of them is going to be that chains of transmission will have become lit from these gatherings.” He expects an earlier than expected second wave of the coronavirus. Former head of the CDC Tom Frieden predicted a new wave of 20,000 additional cases within a month from protest events along.

NBC’s medical correspondent Dr. John Torres says he expects to see a spike in cases in 5-7 days because of the large gatherings happening across the country. He says part of the issue is being around a large group of people for a prolonged period of time. Another concern he says, is if something like tear gas is used, it could increase the amount of coughing and respiratory droplets in the air.

Florida has now administered more than one million coronavirus tests, but there needs to be more.

Governor Ron DeSantis said in Boca Raton Friday, “what we’re finding is that we have the capacity to do at least 10,000 tests a day just from the drive-thru sites, but yet we typically only have demand for about half that much.”

“We’ve told people come if you want to get tested,” he said.

State and local leaders are trying to make it as easy as possible to get a coronavirus test if you want one. A Home Depot on Glades Road and 441 in Boca Raton is now one of several across the state where you can get tested.

There are dozens of locations where you can get a test in Palm Beach County. The county has also released an interactive map to help you find the closest testing site. You can find that here.