Lockdown protester struck down by virus
An organiser of a US group calling on the state of North Carolina to ease its coronavirus restrictions was unable to attend two rallies because she tested positive for the disease, the New York Post reports.
"I remained in isolation/self-quarantine at my home per the direction of my county health department. I have not attended any events for ReOpen NC," Whitlock told the outlet.
While the organiser was in isolation, the group held two rallies in Raleigh - the state capital - demanding North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper speed up plans to lift the stay-at-home order, which is now in effect until May 8.
At last week's demonstration, more than 100 mainly unmasked protesters crammed together in defiance of social distancing guidelines, the report said.
The group is scheduled to hold its third rally on Tuesday outside Raleigh's Legislative Building.
Whitlock first revealed her coronavirus diagnosis in a private post to the group's Facebook page on Sunday.
"As an asymptomatic COVID-19 positive patient (quarantine ends 4/26)," Whitlock wrote in the message obtained by the Raleigh News and Observer.
"Another concern I have is the treatment of COVID patients as it relates to other communicable diseases. I have been forced to quarantine in my home for 2 weeks," she said.
Tensions have exploded across the US this week, with the country bitterly divided over the COVID-19 response as protests broke out in multiple states.
Similar to restrictions currently in place in Australia, businesses have been shut down across the US and social distancing measures are in force in a bid to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.
There are now over 980,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US and the death toll has passed 55,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
But despite the growing death toll, angry rallies have been held across several states, with protesters demanding businesses reopen as citizens feel the economic toll of the shutdowns.
Over the past week there have been scattered protests in several US states against stay-at-home orders, from New Hampshire, Maryland and Pennsylvania to Texas and California.
The demonstrators, some of them armed, were mostly mask-free and many ignored social distancing measures.
This story originally appeared in the New York Post and was reproduced here with permission
Originally published as Lockdown protester struck down by virus