San Antonio health experts urge protestors to be cautious of COVID-19

Despite city experiencing a second wave, protests continue

SAN ANTONIO – Local groups continue to protest against racial inequality and police brutality despite a second wave of COVID-19.

Local activist Joevon Leon Berry said organizing and demonstrating during a pandemic can prove to be a serious issue for protestors.

“It’s still a serious pandemic, it’s still a serious problem, but so is people being killed in the street,” Berry said.

Berry and a small group of people met outside the federal courthouse Friday for a peaceful protest dressed in suits. The group’s goal was to break misconceptions people may have on men of color.

Berry said it’s a fight for their children’s future.

“We’re going to show our children, the ones that will be here in 10 years, that they have to fight the same fight," Berry said. “If they’re going to go through it, they have to do it with class."

While the group of protesters dressed in suits, not everyone was wearing a mask.

Dr. Cherise Rohr-Allegrini, a local epidemiologist, said she believes the “Black Lives Matter” movement is important, however, so is public health.

“We’re still seeing an increase in cases and it’s a disease that’s transmitted through the respiratory tract,” Allegrini said.

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Allegrini said that along with wearing masks or face coverings, protestors should utilize signs and noisemakers, which can be used instead of yelling to further decrease the chance of spread.

“I understand the cause and commitment, but also want to keep people safe and healthy,” Allegrini said.

Despite the virus still being present, some protestors demand to be heard. Organizer Elizabeth Randle said she will continue to fight.

“That could have been my son. That could have been my father. That could have been my brother. That could have been me," Randle said.

The city’s Public Health Committee has recommended San Antonio police discontinue the use of tear gas, which could increase coughing and the risk of contracting COVID-19.

Metro Health has recommended protestors get tested and self isolate until they receive their results.

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About the Authors:

Steven Cavazos is a traffic anchor and general assignments reporter in the weekday mornings at KSAT 12.