The Grapevine

Coronavirus Testing Sites Shut Down Amid National Unrest

COVID-19 testing has been increasing, a way to determine who may or may not be infected by the coronavirus. Until recently, it appeared regions have been finally ramping up efforts to do mass testing. That was until the untimely death of George Floyd, which has now placed the United States in a bigger mess. Protests and riots have marred most regions and safety are compromised. Now, the U.S. has to deal with two problems. It gets even worse when one links the two, considering public exposure raises the risk of individuals to possibly contracting the deadly virus.

With riots making public places unsafe, there are COVID-19 testing centers that were forced to suspend operations. Violence and protests have placed the lives of people carrying out the testing at higher risk. Sites over in California to Florida have been temporarily shut down with mass gatherings forming. Even more appalling is that most of these people do not know if they are infected or not, NBC News reported.

"The way we move forward with this pandemic is to have testing be as widely available as possible," Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious-disease physician with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said. "Any disruption to testing is going to make it harder to find cases."

The development is a big blow to efforts to potentially curb COVID-19 numbers. Some sites were forced to close as authorities try to place order in riotous places. As L.A. Director of the County Department of Health Services Christina Galy pointed out, making sure that testing sites are safe both for patients and staff.

More regions are suffering the same thing with looting and violence growing rampant. Curfews are now in place but the most concerning issue is that most have now ignored the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That includes wearing of masks and observing social distancing. The mass gatherings have shown no practice of social distancing, which calls for people to be at least 3 to 6 feet apart.

Floyd died in police custody last week in Minneapolis. This is the same region considered a COVID-19 hotspot. Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm issued a statement to address the ongoing issues.

COVID-19 Protests Liberate Minnesota protest at the governor's residence in St Paul, Minnesota. Lorie Shaull/flickr

"We need the help of everyone involved to prevent additional suffering and preventable death by following the public health guidelines to limit COVID-19 spread," Malcolm said in a statement.

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