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No Knox County COVID-19 patients reported attending protests, says health department

A spokesperson for the Knox County Health Department, Charity Menefee, said they have no evidence to show that protests or demonstrations contributed to the spike in cases and said no patients reported attending them.
Protesters in Knoxville celebrate Juneteenth
Protesters in Knoxville celebrate Juneteenth(WVLT)
Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 7:17 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A spokesperson for the Knox County Health Department, Charity Menefee, said they have no evidence to show that protests or demonstrations contributed to the spike in cases and said no patients reported attending them.

However, some patients who tested positive for the virus did report attending parties and not practicing social distancing, according to Menefee.

Menefee said she could not speak to the use of masks at protest events, but if they were largely in use and social distancing was being practiced that could be a possible explanation for why there have been no positive COVID-19 cases connected to the events as of yet.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, contact tracers ask positive patients exact details about where they have been leading up to the positive test result.

“We do not have any data that would show a connection between any protests specifically.” A Tennessee Department of Health spokesperson said no significant number of people had reported being at a protest.

Several peaceful demonstrations were held in Knoxville following the death of George Floyd and again in celebration of Juneteenth.

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