With the spread of COVID-19 still looming, the current crowding at Black Lives Matter protests has been a concern. But according to one study, the gatherings aren’t causing the virus to spread.

“The new research, which was published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, found no evidence that coronavirus cases jumped in 315 cities in the weeks following the first protests,” says the New York Post.

Researchers explain saying, “While it is almost certain that the protests caused a decrease in social distancing behavior among protest attendees, we demonstrate that effect of the protests on the social distancing behavior of the entire population residing in counties with large urban protests was positive.”

They add, “While it is possible that the protests caused an increase in the spread of COVID-19 among those who attended the protests, we demonstrate that the protests had little effect on the spread of COVID-19 for the entire population of the counties with protests during the more than three weeks following protest onset.”

The research doesn’t specify whether the large number of protestors wearing masks is what is attributing to the findings, but they add that the results could be due to a “net effect.” They also conclude that because many people are afraid of violence from police clashes or general unrest, they are choosing to stay home.

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