D.C. Reports Spike In COVID-19 Cases Amid Protests

D.C. mayor anticipates there will be higher numbers of coronavirus cases ahead because of packed public demonstrations.

D.C. Reports Spike In COVID-19 Cases Amid Protests
Alex Brandon / AP

Health officials in Washington D.C. say they are documenting a spike in COVID-19 cases and are concerned about more coming as protests continue.

Over the last week, communities across the country have seen protesters pack streets in demonstrations following the deadly arrest of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Floyd, a Black man, died May 25 after a White Minneapolis police officer used his knee on Floyd's neck during an arrest. 

With little to no social distancing measures being taken in these protests, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser says city health officials anticipate the virus to spread.

"So in the chief's world, this is a first amendment demonstration response. In Dr. Nesbitt's world, this is a mass gathering that we don’t want for the prevention of COVID," Bowser said. "We're very concerned because this type of activity is happening all across the country and people are traveling all across the country."

Bowser says 56 new cases of the virus were confirmed Monday morning in the city. According to Johns Hopkins University, nearly 9,000 cases of the virus and nearly 500 virus related deaths have been confirmed in D.C. so far.

CNN reports that these new cases will now delay the city’s timetable for moving into phase two of it’s reopening plans.

Contains footage from CNN