Protestors get too close, but local officials not calling for action

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JEFFERSON CITY - For protesters across the country, social distancing isn't what's on their mind when they protest. It's George Floyd.

But some in Mid-Missouri, like Missouri NAACP President Nimrod Chapel, say even though theres a pandemic going on, support for the protesters is present.

“People's quest for justice sometimes means more than their own lives,” Chapel said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-New York), a state hit much worse by the virus, asked protesters to quarantine if they had been to a protest.

But in central Missouri, health departments say they probably won't follow suit.

"We’re not making a requirement or any sort of order that has those people stay home for 14 day," said Chezney Schulte with the Cole County Health Department.

Chapel said if there is a flare-up in cases in the next two weeks, he doesn't think it will necessarily be because of the protests.

"Whatever harm, if there is any, that comes from opening up, it’ll be hard to tell whether that's because of people going to work and going to go get haircuts, or whether because they went to a protest," Chapel said.

He said even during a pandemic, the act of people showing up is powerful.

“The degree to which people are participating, I mean there’s not many times you get a thousand people in Jefferson City, right, to talk about anything,” he said.

Chapel also said if people are comfortable showing up, they are welcome to show up. If they aren't, he said that's fine, too.

“Within the framework that people are comfortable operating in, and of course within the law," he said. "I think that they should use every facility they have to make sure the issue they care about are not only heard, but heard by the right people.”

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