Health officials across the country have expressed fear the mass protests over the black man’s death in police custody that have taken place over the past two weeks could lead to new outbreaks of the virus.
But those fears haven’t been borne out in Minneapolis and St. Paul, as of yet, based on early test results, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Saturday.
Protesters gather at a memorial for George Floyd where he died outside Cup Foods on East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, Monday, June 1, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests continued following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Minnesota health officials are conducting coronavirus tests for protesters at four sites in Minneapolis and St. Paul, according to the paper.
So far, more than 3,300 protesters have shown up to be tested and of that number, 40 percent — or about 1,300 — have gotten their test results back.
The paper reported that of that number only about 1.4 percent tested positive for the virus, the paper reported.
That’s lower than the 3.7 percent positivity rate reported Friday of 13,000 test results statewide, the paper reported. It is also lower than the current seven-day average rate of positive tests, which also stands at 3.7 percent.
Kris Ehresmann, state Department of Health director of infectious disease, said there were not enough results to draw firm conclusions about the impact of the mass gatherings on Minnesota’s coronavirus outbreak, according to the paper.
“Our testing is a bit pre-emptive, if you will,” Ehresmann said. “It is a different situation.”