Officials fear COVID-19 spike in Georgia following days of protests

ATLANTA — Protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody have health experts concerned about a possible new spike in COVID-19 cases in Georgia.

As of Tuesday morning, there have been nearly 48,000 total cases of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Georgia and more than 2,000 people have died from the virus.

State health officials worry these large gatherings will hinder their efforts to contain COVID-19.

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We asked the governor about the rising risk of a new coronavirus surge during a news conference Monday.

“Obviously it’s very tough for our men and women in law enforcement, first responders, guardsmen and women and others to be out there on the frontlines,” Gov. Brian Kemp said. “They obviously can’t be six feet apart and to have communications and other things it’s very difficult for them to wear a mask.”

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Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms urges anyone who was out in the crowds to get tested.

"If you were out protesting last night, you probably need to go get a COVID test this week. Because there’s still a pandemic in America that’s killing black and brown people at higher numbers,” Bottoms said.

We asked a doctor if people should get tested if they were part of the crowds.

“My belief is that testing is more readily available now, so that’s a very reasonable assertion by mayor. I would also say if you develop symptoms 72, 96 hours after participating in those events, definitely get tested as well,” Wellstar Health System’s Dr. Chirag Patel.