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Protests prompting concern about new outbreaks of coronavirus

Quoted: Jim Conway, an infectious diseases expert at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Global Health Institute, said the good news is that being outdoors decreases the risk of transmission.

“However, since the primary transmission is from human to human, individuals in close quarters with little movement do have increased opportunity for higher ‘quality’ contact and subsequent infection,” he said in an email. “Obviously it depends on how many infected people there are in the group, and how careful individuals are about their own hygiene.”

“It’s really disappointing to hear that the police in Madison took actions that exacerbated the risk of transmission at the protest, like pushing people together into crowded spaces, forming riot lines, and using chemicals that make people cough and spread more droplets,” said Malia Jones, a social epidemiologist and assistant scientist in health geography at the Applied Population Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.