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Cuomo says George Floyd protesters should assume they've been exposed to coronavirus

Cuomo: Protesters may be exposed to COVID
Cuomo: Protesters may be exposed to COVID 02:49

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that people in New York City protesting the death of George Floyd should assume they have been exposed to the coronavirus. "If you were at a protest I would assume you're exposed," Cuomo said. 

The governor also announced the state is opening COVID-19 testing facilities to all people who were at a protest. He urged protesters to act as if they have been exposed by telling those that they live with, and getting tested.

"The protesters themselves could wind up creating a spike," he said, noting that it won't be clear for at least two weeks.

At least 52 people died from the coronavirus Wednesday, Cuomo said. The governor stressed that while new cases are still on the decline, that is due to the state's stay-at-home and social distancing orders up until this point.

Every region statewide has been allowed to begin reopening except for New York City. As of Thursday, the city had met five out of seven metrics to reopen, according to the state's "regional un-pause dashboard," but is expected to begin phase one of reopening on Monday, June 8.

Cuomo spoke after New York City woke up from its third night under curfew, which saw dozens of arrests and clashes between police and protesters. The 8 p.m. curfew is aimed at containing violence and looting in the aftermath of Floyd's death.

The governor said officers have the right to enforce the law against those who are violating curfew and refuse to leave. He said violence at the protests is down overall, but admonished those who have attacked police, as well as looters, saying they should be charged "appropriately" for burglary.

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