Legislators Call on State to Issue COVID-19 Guidance During Protests

BOSTON – Cape & Islands State Senator Julian Cyr has joined three additional legislators in calling upon Governor Charlie Baker and other state officials to issue guidance to both law enforcement members and protesters in order to limit the impact of COVID-19.

Cyr was joined by Senator Jo Comerford and Representatives Marjorie Decker and John Mahoney in signing a letter to the officials.

The letter said that while the legislators have been “inspired” by recent protests promoting racial justice, concerns about the novel coronavirus have developed.

Cyr and the other legislators called on Baker to ban the use of pepper spray, tear gas, and rubber bullets during the virus pandemic.

They say these measures can cause protesters to remove their masks or face coverings, and also aid others who have been sprayed or hit, thus putting themselves at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19.

Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Monica Bharel and Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders were urged by the legislators to advise protesting groups to take precautions before, during, and after demonstrations.

The legislators say protesters should monitor symptoms for two weeks, attempt to stay six feet apart from each other, wear face coverings properly, and get tested for COVID-19 after being in a crowd.

The letter explains that demonstrators should not be required to say that they were at a protest.

Cyr and the co-signers of the letters said that they want to see productive engagement occur between demonstrators and law enforcement while also keeping virus safety measures in mind.

The entire letter can be found on Cyr’s Twitter page, which can be accessed by clicking here.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the CapeCod.com NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.

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