NYC Contact Tracers Can't Ask About Protest Attendance


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Coronavirus contact tracers working New York City can't ask whether an infected person had attended a recent protest.

Avery Cohen, a spokesperson for the Mayor's office confirmed the policy in an email to local online publication The City: "No person will be asked proactively if they attended a protest." Though adding that, "If a person want to proactively offer that information, there is an opportunity for them to do so."

New York City officials have taken a soft stance over fears that mass protests could lead to a spike in coronavirus cases. “Let’s be clear about something: if there is a spike in coronavirus cases in the next two weeks, don’t blame the protesters. Blame racism,” Mark Levine, head of the city council’s health committee,tweeted earlier this month.

Both New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio have expressed concerns over the potential for increased COVID-19 spread among protests in the wake of George Floyd's Minneapolis arrest death.

“When you see . . . an entire nation, simultaneously grappling with an extraordinary crisis seated in 400 years of American racism, I’m sorry, that is not the same question as the understandably aggrieved store owner or the devout religious person who wants to go back to services,” de Blasio said in a press conference earlier this month.

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