A woman who led a protest in North Carolina to call on the state to ease its Coronavirus restrictions was unable to attend two rallies because she tested positive for the disease, a report said.
Audrey Whitlock, who administers the Facebook page of ReOpen NC, was under quarantine for two weeks ending Sunday after testing positive for Coronavirus, according to news station WFAE.
“I remained in isolation/self-quarantine at my home per the direction of my county health department. I have not attended any events for ReOpen NC,” Whitlock told the outlet.
While the organizer was in isolation, the group held two rallies in Raleigh demanding North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper speed up plans to lift the stay-at-home order, which is still in effect until May 8.
During their protests, the group crowded together, ignoring social distancing guidelines, and most of them didn’t wear face masks.
Whitlock first revealed she tested positive for COVID-19 in a private post to the group’s Facebook page on Sunday.
Whitlock wrote in the message: “As an asymptomatic COVID19 positive patient (quarantine ends 4/26). Another concern I have is the treatment of COVID patients as it relates to other communicable diseases. I have been forced to quarantine in my home for 2 weeks.”
She also complained that her “forced” self-quarantine violated her First Amendment rights.
“The reality is that modern society has not been able to eradicate contagious viruses,” she wrote on Facebook.
“A typical public health quarantine would occur in a medical facility.
“I have been told not to participate in public or private accommodations as requested by the government, and therefore denied my 1st amendment right of freedom of religion.”
She added: “It has been insinuated by others that if I go out, I could be arrested for denying a quarantine order.”
There have been about 8,000 coronavirus cases in North Carolina with 300 deaths. However, the protest group, which boasts of 70,000 members, is calling for the lockdown to be lifted.
The group is made up of “mostly business owners and employees that are losing our income and denied our right to provide for our families.”