For those heading out to march on Friday, the City has shared some public health advice. With thousands of people expected to join together for the peaceful anti-racism protest in Ottawa, the City’s public health agency is providing suggestions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in crowds. If you’re attending the protest, here’s what you need to know.

In a special statement on June 3, via Ottawa Public Health, Ottawa's Associate Medical Officer of Health addressed the anti-racism protests that are happening across Canada.

“Racism is a public health issue and Ottawa is not immune,” Dr. Brent Moloughney began.

He went on to note that since the beginning of the global pandemic, there’s been a rise in racism, xenophobia, discrimination and hate incidents.

“Marches are taking place all over the world this week including here in Ottawa,” Dr. Moloughney said. “We understand that people want to gather to march and express themselves.”

To this end, he went on to explain the best ways to keep safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19, while navigating the potentially large crowds and busy environments expected on Friday.

Wherever possible, Ottawa Public Health recommends maintaining physical distancing, of at least two meters. Cloth face masks should also be worn, as per the City’s advice.

Supporters should bring hand sanitizer with them to the protests, says Dr. Moloughney, and wash their hands as soon as they return home.

Ottawa also advises that everyone involved should avoid touching their face while out and about in public, and should clean any materials carried during the march as soon as you get home.

“Consider alternatives to yelling and shouting to avoid spreading droplets,” suggests the health agency.

If you notice any symptoms of COVID-19 after protesting, you should “get yourself tested right away.”

Testing is available across Ontario to anybody who needs it right now, and Ontario Premier Doug Ford is actively encouraging people to head to their nearest assessment centre.

If you have symptoms of the disease, or are unwell, you are asked to stay away from others for the time being.

Ottawa's peaceful protest is scheduled to take place on June 5, at 3 p.m.

The City has already confirmed that nobody attending will be given COVID-19 related fines or tickets.

*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.

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