NC’s top doctor understands need for protests, warns of risks

Local News

RALEIGH, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- North Carolina’s top doctor says she understands the need and the reason for protests, but she says there are risks during a pandemic.

“Too many families have lost loved ones. I want you to know that I see you. I see your deep hurt and sadness,” said Dr. Mandy Cohen, North Carolina’s DHHS Secretary.

Dr. Cohen says she understands people want to make their voices heard about racial injustices, but she wants them to do so peacefully and wear a mask.

“Anytime there are more people in closer contact, even when they are outside, that is a risk.”

Dr. Cohen is glad that many protesters were wearing masks, but she reminds people about the risks of attending large gatherings and events.

“The hard part about this virus, we don’t know who might be what’s called a ‘super spreader’ and cause virus spread to many tens or hundreds of people in one outing.”

During a news conference Monday, Dr. Cohen was also asked by a reporter about the Republican National Convention and whether it’s safe to put 19,000 people inside the Spectrum Center not wearing masks and not being 6 feet apart.

“What we know about the spread is that when you are indoors close together, without 6 feet apart and without face coverings, the virus spreads,” said Dr. Cohen.

Health officials also want to remind everyone that hurricane season begins today, June 1.

When you’re making your hurricane kit at home, you want to include hand sanitizer and masks for your family.

The state of North Carolina is also working to get more personal protective equipment at its hurricane shelters and even looking for larger spaces for people to go during an evacuation.

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