‘ReOpen NC’ organizer reveals ‘asymptomatic’ positive COVID-19 diagnosis

A prominent advocate for protests against North Carolina’s ongoing stay-at-home order revealed on Sunday that she had tested positive for the coronavirus and was quarantined for the past two weeks.

Audrey Whitlock, an administrator of the ReOpen NC Facebook page, wrote on Facebook that she was asymptomatic and used her own experience to criticize Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, over his response to the highly contagious pandemic, The Hill reported.

Cooper most recently extended the statewide order until May 8.

Expressing concern for “the treatment of COVID patients as it relates to other communicable diseases,” Whitlock went on to assert that she deserved to have her taxes refunded during the shutdown due to perceived violations of her constitutional rights.

Staying the course

Whitlock first suspected she had coronavirus in January, but an antibody test earlier this month identified the active virus and found no trace of the antibodies, according to a fellow ReOpen NC leader.

ReOpen NC has pledged to protest every Tuesday until the stay-at-home order is lifted, however, Whitlock said she had not attended any protests and would not be attending Tuesday’s protest either, local CBS17 reported.

LiveScience reported on Monday that North Carolina was 20th in the nation with 9,313 confirmed COVID-19 cases. At least 330 residents of the state have died as a result.

Though the numbers have begun to level off this week, Gov. Cooper updated residents on Tuesday and emphasized increased testing across the state.

“We can’t let our guard down just yet,” he said, according to WFMY.

Can coronavirus really be stopped?

“The reality is that modern society has not been able to eradicate contagious viruses,” Whitlock argued in her Facebook post. “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.”

Despite the fact that many nursing home residents were largely isolated even before the current orders, these facilities have been a major source of infections and deaths, as The New York Times reports. At the same time, some states opted to hold off on enacting stay-at-home orders and maintained relatively low levels of coronavirus cases.

Unfortunately, this pandemic has proven extremely difficult to prevent or limit no matter what type of lockdown is in effect. Local communities have seen mixed results from forcing people to stay at home for long periods of time.

Practicing social distancing and following other safety recommendations in public might be a more balanced plan for restarting an economy that continues to sustain damage every day it remains shut down.

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