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Alberta health officer urges anti-racism protesters to get tested for COVID-19

Last Updated Jun 8, 2020 at 4:15 pm MDT

A Calgary police officer stands by as thousands of protesters march through downtown Calgary during a Black Lives Matter demonstration on June 3, 2020. (PHOTO: Tom Ross - 660 NEWS)

EDMONTON – Alberta’s chief medical officer of health is urging protesters who were at recent anti-racism rallies to get tested for COVID-19 even if they don’t have symptoms.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw says while case numbers and hospitalizations remain low, the province can’t risk letting complacency allow the infection rate to rise again.

About 10,000 people took to the streets in Edmonton on Friday as part of anti-racism rallies around the world decrying police actions in the death of George Floyd in the United States.

There have also been numerous rallies and marches in Calgary.

Hinshaw says she commends protesters who work masks and kept social distance and has reached out to organizers to discuss ways to help keep rallies from becoming so-called “super-spreader” events.

Hinshaw says there are 355 active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta.

There are 44 people in hospital, six of them in intensive care, and a total of 149 patients have died.