Co-founder of the Maryland group that protested that the state reopen positive tests for the coronavirus

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Tim Walters, the organizer of Reopen Maryland, said in a live Facebook video posted on Thursday that he was quarantined at home. The US Navy veteran and former Republican candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates also said that his wife and son will be tested and will follow the 14-day quarantine.

“I had a hard day yesterday. I told you I didn’t feel really good. I crashed later in the day, I had to go to the emergency room. I thought I had a stroke … had Covid, “he said in the video, continuing later,” As you can see, I’m not dying. It’s uncomfortable. I would say it’s like having the flu. ”

In April and May, a popular group, Reopen Maryland, held rallies in Annapolis and across the state to pressure Hogan to reopen the state’s economy. In May, the group also joined a handful of religious and business leaders and state legislators to sue the governor for his stay at home order.

Walters first shared that he had been diagnosed with a coronavirus earlier this week in a series of Facebook videos, according to The Capital Gazette, which first reported on Walters’ diagnosis. Walters told the Daily Record separately on Friday that he had deleted certain videos in which he discussed his diagnosis because of his family’s violent reactions.

Walters, according to the Capital Gazette, urged those with whom he recently contacted to assess their health, but said he would not provide information to state public health officials for contract research – a an epidemiological tool which, according to public health officials, is essential to understand the coronavirus and stop its spread.

Walters and Reopen Maryland did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

Hogan has gradually lifted restrictions in the state, allowing gymnasiums, casinos and malls to reopen last week, but residents of Maryland are still required to wear face covers in retail spaces and public transport.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that Americans wear a cloth face covering in public to curb the spread of the coronavirus, noting that “cloth face covers are intended to protect others in the event that the carrier is infected without know it but has no symptoms ”.

Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, said in a statement that “wearing masks can reduce the transmission of the virus by up to 50%, and those who refuse put their lives, their families, their friends and their communities in danger. ”

Walters told the Daily Record that contracting Covid-19 after months of not wearing a face mask has not changed his mind, “because there is too much evidence that the masks do not work.”

“I don’t care if you wear a mask or not.” I am not here to defend this. I think the role of the government is to educate us so that we can make these decisions knowingly, “he told the newspaper.

While the reopening of Maryland protested the governor’s restrictions on coronaviruses in May, other members of the state have since joined national protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Hogan on his Facebook page shared the Gazette article on Walters’ diagnosis on Friday, using it as an opportunity to encourage all protesters to get tested for the coronavirus.

“As the Marylanders have gathered to peacefully protest in recent weeks, I would like to reiterate to those who participate in these events that it is still important to continue to take every precaution to reduce the risk of the spread of the coronavirus,” a wrote the Republican governor.

“Our health experts strongly encourage anyone who attended a demonstration or mass gathering to get tested immediately for the coronavirus, and they are also advised to avoid contact with vulnerable populations,” he said. -he declares.

There have been 3,142 deaths from Covid-19 in Maryland, according to data from John Hopkins University.

The state currently has more than 66,000 reported cases, with nearly 500 people hospitalized, and has tested more than 613,500 people, according to the Maryland Department of Health. According to the department, the majority of positive cases concern people aged 30 to 39, while most of the deaths concern people aged 80 and over.

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