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Data Show Protests Had Little Effect On Virus Transmission In Conn. And N.Y.

Davis Dunavin
Black Lives Matter protesters march in New Haven in June.

In June, officials in New York and Connecticut were concerned that protests in large numbers and without masks would spread the coronavirus. But weeks later, COVID-19-related hospitalizations, positive cases and deaths in the states have stayed down.

A nationwide surge of protests calling for police reform and accountability worried health officials that steady coronavirus declines would be outmatched by large, unsafe gatherings.

But that’s not what happened. Even counter protesters who defied state orders calling for states to reopen businesses didn’t kick up infection rates in New York and Connecticut. 

Instead, hospitalizations, cases and deaths related to COVID-19 have remained at their lowest levels since March. Health officials credit that to protests, and counter protests, being held outdoors, wearing masks and social distancing demonstrations, like car caravans and marches.

The new concern is people will let their guard down at beaches, bars and restaurants this summer, as is currently happening in states with high infection rates, and the virus will come back by fall. 

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