Leader of Movement to Reopen NC Gets the Virus

She said she's concerned about the quarantine measures being taken for those with COVID
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 28, 2020 1:20 AM CDT
Leader of Movement to Reopen NC Gets the Virus
Protesters from ReOpenNC fill Lane Street as they march calling on North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper to ease COVID-19 restrictions due to economic concerns on Tuesday, April 21, 2020 in Raleigh, NC.   (Robert Willett/The News & Observer via AP)

A leader of a movement protesting North Carolina's stay-at-home order has contracted the coronavirus. Reopen NC has been opposing the measures Gov. Roy Cooper is taking to slow the spread of the virus, and has held two protests in downtown Raleigh. In a recent message to the movement's Facebook group, administrator Audrey Whitlock said she tested positive for COVID-19 and was quarantined until Sunday. "As an asymptomatic COVID19 positive patient ... another concern I have is the treatment of COVID patients as it relates to other communicable diseases," she wrote, per the Raleigh News & Observer. "I have been forced to quarantine in my home for 2 weeks." She went on to complain about being denied freedom of religion as well as the right to work. ABC 11 says the post has since been deleted.

But Whitlock confirmed to the station that she did test positive, though she wouldn't comment on whether she was re-tested at the end of her quarantine period to see if she was still testing positive. She also wouldn't say whether she attended Reopen NC's protests on April 14 or 21, but another administrator of the Facebook group said she was not at the April 21 protest. Whitlock said in the now-deleted post that she planned to attend the April 28 protest. She also explained in a subsequent post that she was sick in February, along with two others in her household, after traveling to the West Coast. She said she had a severe cough and breathing problems. No one was tested for coronavirus at the time, but when antibody tests came out, she decided to get checked—and ended up testing positive for the virus. "The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination by employers, places of public accommodation, and state and local government entities," she said in her post. "Where do we draw the line?" (More coronavirus stories.)

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