Some members of the Washington, D.C. National Guard have tested positive for the coronavirus following the nationwide protests against police brutality in the past two weeks.
The Guard was deployed in various states across the country in response to the mainly peaceful protests taking place in response to George Floyd’s murder. Floyd died at the hands of Minneapolis police on May 25, sparking demonstrations in his home city and beyond.
“We can confirm that we have had COVID-19 positive tests with the DCNG,” D.C. National Guard spokeswoman Lt. Col. Brooke Davis told McClatchy, which was first to report the news of the positive tests.
“The safety and security of our personnel is always a concern, especially in light of the COVID-19 era,” she added.
The report regarding the D.C. Guard comes after the Nebraska National Guard announced that two members received positive results after they were called to protests in Omaha and Lincoln. All personnel still on duty with the Nebraska Guard are now being tested, a spokesman said Monday.
Various health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have expressed concerns about the current protests and their potential impact on the spread of coronavirus, but protestors have said demonstrating in support of Black Lives Matter is worth the risk.
Last week, the New York City Health Department shared tips for protesting as safely as possible during COVID-19. They suggested wearing face masks, eye protection, using noisemakers instead of yelling and staying six feet away from other people.
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