“The only thing I can say is that I am consistent,” Dr. Fauci said. “I stick by what I say: the best way that you can avoid either acquiring or transmitting infection is to avoid crowded places, to wear a mask whenever you’re outside, and if you can do both — avoid the congregation of people and do the mask, that’s great.”
Health officials in the United States have not yet traced major outbreaks of the virus to the protests that followed George Floyd’s killing, but across the country, officials are seeing a handful of new cases with possible links to the demonstrations, with at least 30 cases as of today, according to a New York Times analysis.
That number — which includes police officers, National Guard members and demonstrators across nine states and Washington, D.C. — represents a tiny fraction of the thousands of new virus cases being identified across the country each day that have no apparent connection to the protests.
And health officials have warned that it is still too soon to know whether the protests will lead to major clusters and wider community spread of the virus, which can take up to 14 days to produce symptoms.
In Minnesota, where the protests began and where a handful of National Guard members were infected, the state has asked protesters to get tested and has opened new testing sites. In other pockets of the country those cases were already turning up.
In Nebraska, at least nine members of the National Guard and one police officer tested positive after working at protests in Lincoln and Omaha. Two police officers in Canton, Ohio, who worked during a protest came down with the virus. Two cases may be related to demonstrations in Kittitas County, Wash. And in Lawrence, Kan., where a man with symptoms went to a protest without wearing a mask, a second person who attended the gathering tested positive, officials said Thursday.
In New York, the governor has also asked for protesters to get tested and to consider themselves exposed.