Audrey Whitlock, a leader of the “Reopen North Carolina” protest group, has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. Whitlock is an administrator for the ReOpen NC Facebook page where she has helped organize multiple protests in Raleigh, N.C.
The protest group has been campaigning to reopen the state and rollback measures that have been put in place to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. The restrictions the group is fighting against include social distancing regulations and the Stay At Home order that was issued by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.
Whitlock announced the news of her positive test on the Reopen NC Facebook page. According to her post, which has since been deleted, Whitlock was asymptomatic, and she finished a 14-day quarantine on April 26.
Whitlock believes she had COVID-19 in January, and she was administered an antibody test and a coronavirus test in April, CBS 17 reported. She tested positive for the coronavirus, but her antibody test came back negative.
In her Facebook post, she wrote that her First Amendment rights were infringed upon because she was “imprisoned” in her home since she was “forced” to quarantine. Whitlock also stated that Americans’ First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights were being violated by the coronavirus regulations.
I have been forced to quarantine in my own home for 2 weeks. The reality is that modern society has not been able to eradicate contagious viruses. A typical public health quarantine would occur in a medical facility. I have been told not to participate in public or private accommodations as requested by the government, and therefore denied my 1st amendment right of freedom of religion.
She also stated in the Facebook post, “It has been insinuated by others that if I go out, I could be arrested for denying a quarantine order.”
Whitlock had to miss the first two ReOpen NC rallies due to quarantining, the Daily Mail reported.
ReOpen NC Hosts a Protest Every Tuesday in Downtown Raleigh
The ReOpen NC protest group rallies every Tuesday in downtown Raleigh. In the group description, it says:
On April 7, 2020, a peaceful action group called #ReopenNC was formed. Two weeks later, this grassroots movement has grown to 68,000 North Carolina Patriots. We stand for The Constitution. We are mostly business owners and employees that are losing our income and denied our right to provide for our families. We have come together to demand action from their elected officials. Rally with us at The Capitol/Governor’s Mansion/Legislative building every Tuesday.
As of April 27, there are 70,000 members in the ReOpen NC Facebook group.
Governor Roy Cooper Extended the Stay At Home Order Until May 8
On April 23, Governor Cooper issued an Executive Order to extend North Carolina’s Stay At Home order through May 9. Dine-in restaurants and bars, along with other non-essential businesses, are to remain closed through May 9 as well.
The Executive Order also continued to limit gatherings of more than 10 people. As of April 27, there have been 9,142 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina, and 306 deaths, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.