ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said Monday that masks will be distributed at future protests against the death of George Floyd.
Weekend protests, primarily in St. Louis County, left city officials worried about a possible uptick in coronavirus cases. In a widely shared video, Floyd can be seen and heard saying he can't breathe while a police officer in Minneapolis kneels on his neck for several minutes. One officer has been charged with third-degree murder, and three more have been fired.
“We can't stop thinking about COVID,” St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said in a Monday press briefing. “We know that black and brown communities have been more devastated by COVID than white communities. We don't want these protests to contribute more to that tragedy.”
Since many St. Louis businesses opened two weeks ago, Krewson said the city’s Pandemic Task Force is already monitoring if hospitalization rates due to COVID spike as stay at home orders are lifted. Protests are another factor in monitoring these numbers, she said.
Everyone should be masked when participating in activities like a protest, said Dr. Alex Garza, head of St. Louis Pandemic Task Force.