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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

Reopen NC Organizer Had COVID-19 But Says She Didn't Attend Rallies

Steve Harrison/WFAE
Hundreds of members of Re-Open NC marched in Raleigh on Tuesday

A member of Reopen NC who administers the group's Facebook page had tested positive for the coronavirus and has been under quarantine for two weeks.

Audrey Whitlock said her quarantine ended Sunday. In a statement to WFAE, she said, "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."

She said she plans to attend Tuesday's protest.

Reopen NC, whose Facebook page has more than 60,000 members, has held two rallies in Raleigh. The group is demanding that Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper move faster in reopening the state.

Cooper extended the stay-at-home order until May 8. Reopen NC is planning its third rally Tuesday.

At last week's rally, some members of the group tried to stay six feet apart while others did not. At one point, more than 100 protestors were packed together at the intersection of Jones and Wilmington streets while police talked to the group about where they could march.

Only a few protestors wore masks.

In a private post on the group's Facebook account, Whitlock said she had traveled to the West Coast.

“When they started doing antibody testing (select labs) I went and had one done just out of curiosity to see if what I had in Feb was COVID,” Whitlock said, according to theRaleigh News and Observer.  “The test came back positive for COVID and negative for the antibodies, so I had a CDC test performed.”
She added: “So this testing and tracing that Cooper is talking about, I have first hand experience that it did not exist in my case,” Whitlock said. “After an abundance of caution I notified my primary care physician who advised me on what to do, and I have been in my house ever since!"
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Steve Harrison is WFAE's politics and government reporter. Prior to joining WFAE, Steve worked at the Charlotte Observer, where he started on the business desk, then covered politics extensively as the Observer’s lead city government reporter. Steve also spent 10 years with the Miami Herald. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.