Several participants in the recent “I Can’t Breathe SC” protests have tested positive for COVID-19, the State Newspaper first reported.
Leader Lawrence Nathaniel posted a live video on Facebook Saturday night saying that four leaders, three photographers, and six protesters have tested positive recently.
Nathaniel said those people who tested positive for coronavirus participated in Greenville, Charleston, and Columbia protests over the last two weeks.
He urged anyone who has participated in the “I Can’t Breathe SC” protests in the past three weeks should get tested and share his video. Across South Carolina, thousands have banded together and taken to the streets for the Black Lives Matter movement to express anger and frustration in the wake of the George Floyd murder.
“We need to do our part, go get tested and don’t go to a protest until you get tested,” Nathaniel said.
Nathaniel said the recent rise in cases has caused the movement to cancel several upcoming protests events until the numbers go down.
South Carolina health officials reported yet again another record-breaking weekend for COVID-19 with more than 2,000 cases reported in a two day-period.
So far in June, South Carolina has seen more positive COVID-19 cases (12,943) than it did in March, April and May combined (12,059).
Young adults between the ages of 21-30 are now the most likely age group to get COVID-19 in South Carolina, after a surge in reported cases over the last few weeks. That age group accounts for 18 percent of the COVID-19 cases
Teenagers now account for 7 percent of the confirmed cases.
“The increases that we’re seeing serve as a warning that young adults and youth are not immune to COVID-19,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC physician consultant, in a recent news release. “They also tell us that younger South Carolinians are not taking social distancing seriously.”
SCDHEC said their data reflects a national trend showing a growing number of young people getting coronavirus in recent weeks.
“While it is true that most youth and younger adults with COVID-19 only experience a mild illness, that is not true for all,” Traxler said in the news release. “In addition, it’s important to remember that even with mild or no symptoms you can spread the disease to those around you – your friends, teammates, and family. We’re calling on our younger generation of South Carolinians to be leaders in their communities by taking actions to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
Coronavirus is also affecting the black population in South Carolina at disproportional rates. While black people make up only 27 percent of the population in South Carolina, they account for 36 percent of all confirmed COVID-19 cases and 46 percent of deaths, according to SCDHEC.
Nathaniel said Saturday he got tested and was awaiting results.
Here is a list of upcoming COVID-19 free testing locations in South Carolina.
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