Doctors fear COVID-19 outbreak after George Floyd march in Houston

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A packed crowd of 60,000 people in the middle of a pandemic made social distancing nearly impossible.

On Tuesday, demonstrators filled downtown to fight police brutality, inequality and the death of George Floyd, who was killed at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers.

"It's so sad that folks right now are having to chose to put their lives at risk so they can bring attention to this tragic situation," said Lina Hidalgo, Harris County Judge.

Hidalgo went on to say it's important that their voices are heard. She recommends that everyone that attended Tuesday's march get tested for the coronavirus.

Doctors recommend that you wait about five days to take the test, that's how long it takes before the virus has a stronger presence in your body and a higher viral load.

"The virus has to start replicating so it starts going. We know that it peaks around day five to seven, that's where we have," said Dr. Laila Woc-Colburn with Baylor College of Medicine Infectious Diseases.

If you took the test the day after the march and it comes back positive, Dr. Woc-Colburn said that could be too soon.

"Let's say you went yesterday and you test today and you come back positive, that doesn't mean you acquired it during the protest," said Woc-Colburn.

If you did attend the march, doctors recommend you stay hydrated in the days to come and monitor any symptoms.

While health officials understand the importance of protesting, they are concerned about the impact the protest and the state's reopening could have.

"Does that mean now that we're going to see increased transmission for a variety of activities that are now happening in more robust fashion and the answer is, we don't know but we're concerned about it," said Dr. Umair Shah, Executive Director of Harris County Public Health.

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