Lockdown protest leader who tested positive for coronavirus vows to attend upcoming rallies
Audrey Whitlock says she suffered a 'severe cough' and was 'having trouble breathing at night' before testing positive for Covid-19
The administrator of a Facebook page behind major rallies calling for North Carolina to be reopened amid the coronavirus pandemic said she has tested positive for Covid-19 — and was planning to attend the next demonstration.
Audrey Whitlock, who runs the Reopen NC Facebook page that has accrued over 70,000 members, wrote in a statement that she had been self-quarantined in her home since testing positive for the novel virus. More than 9,000 people in North Carolina have contracted the virus, according to the latest data, and 306 people have died across the state.
In a post on the private Facebook group, Ms Whitlock said she had not attended any of the previous demonstrations after travelling to the West Coast and testing positive for Covid-19 in February.
“When they started doing antibody testing (select labs) I went and had one done just out of curiosity to see if what I had in Feb was COVID,” she wrote, the Raleigh News and Observer reported. “The test came back positive for COVID and negative for the antibodies, so I had a CDC test performed.”
She added: “After an abundance of caution I notified my primary care physician who advised me on what to do, and I have been in my house ever since!"
Ms Whitlock, who reportedly said she was “asymptomatic” in her Facebook post, described herself as having been “forced to quarantine” and “denied my 1st amendment right of freedom of religion” due to her test results.
“I have been told not to participate in public or private accommodations as requested by the government,” she claimed. “If I were an essential employee, I would be denied access to my job by my employer and the government, though compensated, those with other communicable diseases are afforded the right to work. It has been insinuated by others that if I go out, I could be arrested for denying a quarantine order.”
She also noted that her quarantine had ended on 26 April, allowing her to attend this week’s “Reopen NC” event scheduled for Tuesday.
Ms Whitlock described her symptoms as including a “severe cough” and “having trouble breathing at night” while noting three people in her household contracted the novel virus.
Despite many people undergoing two-week quarantine periods after having been exposed to or contracting Covid-19, health officials remain uncertain as to how long it takes for people to no longer have the ability to spread the disease. Some experts have said two weeks is roughly about the incubation time for the novel coronavirus.
Hundreds of protestors packed street throughout North Carolina last week while protesting the Democratic governor’s stay-at-home guidelines. The orders have been implemented until 8 May.