Health experts and political leaders have warned that the nationwide protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd could cause a catastrophic setback for controlling COVID-19 in the U.S., as cities and states continue efforts to reopen.
So far, more than 1.7 million Americans have been sickened by the disease and more than 105,000 have died.
"If you were out protesting last night, you probably need to go get a COVID test this week," said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms at a news briefing Sunday.
Elsewhere, lockdown restrictions continue to be eased across Europe and east Asia, where the virus originated, but cases continue to grow in Latin America, with Brazil passing 500,000 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
- MAPS: Confirmed cases in the U.S. and worldwide; confirmed deaths in the U.S. and globally
- Reopening America: See what states across the U.S. have already reopened.
- The coronavirus has destroyed the job market in every state. See the per-state jobless numbers and how they’ve changed.
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D.C. mayor, Maryland governor say they're concerned about spread of coronavirus at protests
Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser told NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that she's concerned about the potential for coronavirus to have spread at recent protests following the death of 46-year-old George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.
"I'm concerned that we had mass gatherings on our streets when we just lifted a stay at home order and what that could mean for spikes in coronavirus cases later," Bowser said. "In fact, I'm so concerned about it that I'm urging everybody to consider their exposure — if they need to isolate from their family members when they go home and if they need to be tested — because we have worked very hard to blunt the curve."
"And while I saw some people with masks last night, others didn't," she continued. "When I saw some people social distancing, other people were right on top of each other. So we don't want to compound this deadly virus and the impact it's had on our community."
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, shared similar sentiment, telling CNN's "State of the Union" that he's "a little bit concerned" about the protests leading to further spread.
"Right now, the immediate concern is to lower the temperature, stop the looting, and potentially keep our citizens safe from the riots that are going on," he said. "But the next step is to worry about this, what we have been focused on for the past couple of months, is the safety — dealing with this coronavirus."
"And there's no question that, when you put hundreds or thousands of people together in close proximity, when we have got this virus all over the streets, is — it's not healthy," Hogan continued. "There's about a 14-day incubation period. So, two weeks from now across America, we're going to find out whether or not this gives us a spike and drives the numbers back up again or not."
People over profit, Pope Francis says during service
Pope Francis said on Sunday that people are more important than the economy, as countries decide how quickly to reopen their countries from coronavirus lockdowns.
Francis made his comments, departing from a prepared script, at the first noon address from his window overlooking St. Peter's Square in three months as Italy's lockdown drew to an end.
"Healing people, not saving (money) to help the economy (is important), healing people, who are more important than the economy," Francis said.
The pope's words were met with applause by hundreds in the square, many of whom wore masks and kept several meters apart from each other.
Belgian prince tests positive for virus after attending gathering in Spain
A nephew of Belgium’s King Philippe, Prince Joachim, has tested positive for coronavirus after attending a party in Spain.
Spanish media said it broke lockdown rules because of the number of people there.
The prince, 28, tested positive after attending the gathering in the southern city of Cordoba on May 26, a spokesperson for the Belgian Royal Palace said on Saturday.
The spokesperson said the palace could not confirm the number of people in attendance at the party. The palace said Joachim travelled to Spain from Belgium on May 24 for an internship and was still there.