For people who have attended protests or large gatherings, we’re sharing some answers to questions relating to the spread of COVID-19. Please reach out if you have any additional questions.
Q: If people chose to attend a protest, are there steps to take to help lower the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in our community?
A: Outdoor gatherings are lower risk than indoor gatherings. The larger the gathering, and the longer you’re there, the higher the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19.
People who have been at group gatherings should monitor their health for 14 days afterwards. Anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested right away, whether they’ve been at a protest or not.
Remember that physical distancing and other measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 are not all-or-nothing – even if you attended large group gatherings, it’s just as important that you continue to stay home whenever possible, remain at least 6 feet away from others and wear a face covering when in public, wash your hands, and avoid touching your face.
Q: Do people who have attended protests need to get tested for COVID-19?
A: If you currently don’t have any symptoms, you do not need to get tested right now. However, if you develop even mild symptoms such as a cough, congestion or runny nose, you should contact your health provider to help evaluate symptoms and need for testing.
Anyone who has been in contact with someone with COVID-19 should also be tested.
If you’re having trouble accessing COVID-19 testing, or have other medical questions related to COVID-19, call the Riley County Screening Line at 785-323-6400.
Q: During protests, what should I consider about how to protect myself and our community?
- Do not attend any gatherings or protests if you are ill or have symptoms of COVID-19. Please remember that COVID-19 can spread from people who do not have symptoms as well as from those who do.
- Wear a cloth mask or face covering. This helps protects those around you, and others wear face coverings to help protect you.
- Stay 6 feet or more away from others.
- Carry hand sanitizer and use it often.
- Avoid touching objects and surfaces that others have touched.
- Increase your distance in situations where people are shouting or singing, as these activities can spread more virus into the air.
Q: What are the ways to reduce risk of exposure when traveling to an event?
A: If you decide to attend a protest, walking, biking, or driving alone in a personal vehicle are the best travel options to reduce risk of COVID-19.
However, these options are not available to everyone. If you need to drive multiple people in a private vehicle, here are tips to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Tips for ride sharing
- Ensure everyone in the car wears a mask.
- Limit the number of people in the car to as few as possible.
- Maintain distance between people as much as possible. Ask passengers to sit in the back to create physical distance.
- Keep tissues and hand sanitizer in your car.
- Cough and sneeze into your sleeve.
- Increase airflow by putting the windows down.
- Do not recirculate air.
- Clean and disinfect all surfaces before and after the trip, especially if you borrowed the car or are giving someone a lift. Play close attention to surfaces that are touched often by passengers, such as door handles, arm rests, steering wheels, gear shifters, commonly-used buttons, and seatbelts.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
If you’re using public transportation, remember to wear a face covering, enter through the back door, maintain 6-feet of distance between yourself and other passengers, and reserve the front for passengers in need of priority seating.