Oklahoma State University linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga said he has tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a protest in Tulsa.
“After attending a protest in Tulsa AND being well protective of myself, I have tested positive for COVID-19,” Ogbongbemiga, who will be a senior this fall, wrote on Twitter Tuesday night. “Please, if you are going to protest, take care of yourself and stay safe.”
Mass protests have taken place in every U.S. state following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died on May 25 in Minneapolis shortly after a white police officer was filmed kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes as three other officers stood by.
The Minneapolis Police Department has since fired all four officers, and the one seen pinning Floyd down, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. However, protesters are calling for the three other officers to be charged and are decrying the overall treatment of black Americans by police.
The number of people who have taken to the streets in the days since Floyd’s death has been in the hundreds of thousands. Although many protesters have worn face masks and some have distributed hand sanitizer, they have been gathering in close proximity, forgoing social distancing guidelines that help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
In an interview published Monday on Politico, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams warned of new clusters of cases of the highly contagious disease as a result of the nationwide protests.
“Based on the way the disease spreads,” Adams said, “there is every reason to expect that we will see new clusters and potentially new outbreaks moving forward.”