Spokane Health Officer Says Protests Didn't Add Much To Covid Increase

Jun 24, 2020

Spokane County Health Officer Bob Lutz says five Covid cases have been confirmed among people who attended the first Black Lives Matter protest.
Credit Video shot from Spokane Regional Health District

Spokane County Health Officer Bob Lutz says he doesn’t believe social justice protests have contributed much to the consistent rise in the number of Covid cases in the county.

During a media briefing Wednesday, Lutz said tracers have been able to tie five confirmed cases to the initial protest on May 31.

“I would support the idea that they came to that protest already infected, based upon their investigation. One person probably contracted it there," he said.

Lutz says disease modelers studying the Seattle protests have found a small number of infections, despite conditions that make it easy to transit the virus.

“I think there is more and more data to demonstrate that, in a situation like that, which you would say would be very high risk. Everybody in clinical practice and public health is saying this is an incredibly high risk experience. No physical distancing, yelling, but wearing face coverings. It’s a natural experiment, but natural experiments show that face coverings do make a difference," Lutz said.

The health district reported 30 new cases today [Wednesday]. It says 15 Spokane County residents are hospitalized for the coronavirus, 28 people overall. It’s not yet clear from where the other 13 people have come.