US officials have expressed their concern that coronavirus could rapidly spread during protests over the death of George Floyd.
People across America have taken to the streets to vent their frustrations over the seeming lack of value for the lives of black people in the same week the nation crossed the 100,000 death count from coronavirus.
Sunday alone saw an increase of almost 20,000 cases, according to the CNN count compiled with data from Johns Hopkins University.
As of Monday morning at least 1,790,191 Americans have contracted the virus and 104,383 have died. But some expect a jump in cases following days of demonstrations.
With large groups of people protesting, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said he expects a sharp increase in cases of Covid-19 in his state.
I am deeply concerned about a super-spreader type of incident," Walz said. "We're going to see a spike in Covid-19. It's inevitable."
Officials in New York shared the governor's worry about a potential for rise in coronavirus among protesters.
"I would still wish that everyone would realize that when people gather it's inherently dangerous in the context of this pandemic, and I'm going to keep urging people not to use that approach and if they do they focus on social distancing and wearing face coverings," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Saturday.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that while people have the right to protest, even during a pandemic, they also have a duty to protect the health of themselves and others.
"You have a right to demonstrate, you have a right to protest, god bless America," Cuomo said at a Saturday news conference. "You don't have a right to infect other people, you don't have a right to act in a way that's going to jeopardize public health."
He told people to "demonstrate with a mask on," and noted how the coronavirus has highlighted longstanding health disparities for the black community.
"The coronavirus crisis has created a depth of pain that still has not been accounted for. So many New Yorkers have lost someone but that is particularly true in communities of color and particularly true in the African American community," Cuomo said. "That loss is being felt so deeply because every knows it's not based on equality ... communities of color lost so much more."