How to Protest Safely during a Pandemic

We at AZCOVIDTXT support the movement for justice and equity for the Black community that has gained momentum in the past weeks. As stated by the Dean of the College of Public Health systemic racism is a public health crisis which has also compounded the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. George Floyd’s murder has triggered many protests nationally and in Arizona to bring awareness and to end excessive force in policing and systemic racism.  If you decide to participate in these peaceful gatherings, please follow these necessary safety precautions in order to reduce your risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19:

  • If you are in a high risk group for COVID-19, are ill, or have recently had close contact with someone who is ill, do not attend the event. Consider one of the many alternate ways to support anti-racism efforts listed below.
  • If you are ill or someone you know is ill from COVID-19 – do not attend the protest. 
  • Always wear a cloth face covering and do not remove it for the duration of the protest.
  • Do not touch your nose, mouth, or eyes.
  • Bring hand sanitizer and water. 
  • Avoid crowds where masking is infrequent or sporadic. 
  • Stay at the fringe of the crowd or walk on the outer sides of the protest march. 
  • Encourage others to space out. 
  • Stay with people you know to make sure you can be in touch with each other if one of you tests positive. 
  • Bring gloves to use if someone has an injury. 
  • Use noisemakers, drums, horns, or other items to make noise as yelling can spread virus. 
  • If possible, wear eye protection (such as glasses, sunglasses, or eye protection goggles) to reduce the possibility for COVID-19 transmission occurring through your eyes.
  • Model physical distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from others outside of your household. Encourage others to maintain appropriate distancing. 
  • Do not shake hands with, hug, or engage in close contact with others outside of your household.
  • Avoid crowded areas to the extent that is possible.
  • Avoid places with significant disruptions and unrest. This can lead to reduced adherence to physical distancing or mask placements. 
  • If you are unsure or feel that you may have been exposed to COVID-19, isolate yourself from others for two weeks, watch for symptoms, and if possible, get a COVID-19 virus test. 

Alternate ways for your voice to be heard:

  • Staying informed
  • Educating yourself on topic-related matters (reading books and articles, listening to podcasts, watching videos, etc.)
  • Signing petitions
  • Donating to organizations that support the cause
  • Making safety kits for protestors [masks, sanitizer, water, bandaids]
  • Providing transportation for those in your close social network going to – from the protests [roll down windows and all with a mask on]
  • Supporting local black businesses
  • Contact your local elected officials 
  • Posting signs in your yard or windows
  • Being involved on social media
  • Having conversations with friends, family, and neighbors
  • Vote! If you need to register to vote in the state of Arizona, please visit this website

The next update will cover what your household can do in advance to be prepared for COVID-19. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to COVID-19 in Arizona, please complete next week’s AZCOVIDTXT survey that you will receive via text in about a week.

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