A spike in the number of coronavirus cases in Cleveland came immediately the Black Lives Matter protest on May 30 in the city’s downtown area, Public Health Director Merle Gordon said.
She told a City Council committee Monday the influx of new cases part of the surge happened between June 3 and 4, also roughly the same time Cleveland lifted daytime travel restrictions.
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Gordon didn’t directly tie the cases to the BLM-organized protest, which city officials estimate involved 3,000 to 4,000 people, according to Cleveland.com, but said positive cases rise as people gather in crowds and do not adhere to recommended social distancing measures.
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A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research also found that protests across the country by the activist groups have not led to an increase in COVID-19 cases.
Researchers found that social distancing behaviors, nationwide, went up after the protests.
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Ohio reported 737 new cases Monday, bringing the seven-day average to its highest point since mid-April and the total number of cases across the state to 51,046 cases with 2,818 deaths.