ST. PAUL -- State health officials are strongly recommending people who have been at protests, vigils, and other demonstrations over the last week get tested for COVID-19.

Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says multiple factors make those large gatherings hotbeds for transmission of the virus.

As we know, COVID-19 can spread easily and quickly in large groups of people who are close together for long periods of time including especially environments where there is louder talking or chanting or shouting or singing and because of all these reasons literally thousands of people may have been exposed.

Malcolm says if you start to feel sick, you should get tested immediately.

She also says even if you do not start to feel sick, you should consider getting tested 5 to 7 days after potential exposure because you may be an asymptomatic carrier of the illness.

Health officials say if you have one, you should contact your primary care provider at your regular clinic to get tested.

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