Covid-19 cases continue to rise in Michigan approximately two weeks after the July 4 holiday weekend, with a spike of nearly 900 new daily cases reported Wednesday.
The cases, according to public-health experts cited by MLive, are being driven by holiday celebrations and other activities that probably shouldn't happen during a pandemic without safety protocols, like weddings, funerals, family reunions, graduation parties, birthday parties, and eating and drinking out.
But what hasn't driven spread are the first large, highly publicized gatherings we saw as we exited lockdown — the protests over the police killing of George Floyd.
Washtenaw County took the step of combing through contact tracing reports and found only one case in someone who had attended a protest, but they'd also attending a two-day wedding event.
MLive examined the reasons hanging out at a sand bar may leave you more exposed than shouting in a large group.
“What we saw at the protests was very different from what we see at parties and social gatherings where people are hugging, touching, gathered in close contact and for long periods of time,” said (Susan Ringler-Cerniglia, a public information officer with the Washtenaw County Health Department.)
“The time period also probably has something to do with it -- walking past each other outside during a march is very different than having a close face-to-face contact like you probably would at a bar or a house party. Those are really really different interactions.”
She noted that COVID-19 transmission is most likely to occur during a face-to-face contact that lasts for 15 minutes or more within six feet and without a mask.
“That wasn’t necessarily happening at the protests,” she said.
Many protesters were also wore masks. And the bulk of the events happened when case counts in the state were relatively low.