Last week, people showed up at the North Carolina State Capitol building in Raleigh to hold the ReopenNC protest. As The Charlotte Observer reported at the time, attendees -- many of whom were bedecked in pro-Trump regalia -- rallied against social-distancing orders that have shuttered many businesses across the state.Signs at the event offered such sentiments as "the shutdown is based on lies" and "fear God, not COVID." Some of the protesters, including North Carolina Rep. Dan Bishop, wore masks.
One of the women who organized the protest has confirmed on social media that she has been diagnosed with COVID-19 -- the disease caused by the virus.
In a lengthy post reprinted at least in-part by WRAL, the woman -- who was initially unidentified in the WRAL report but described as one of three mothers who organized the Raleigh event -- says that she was diagnosed with the virus but had no symptoms.
"I have been forced to quarantine in my home for 2 weeks. 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. It has been insinuated by others that if I go out, I could be arrested for denying a quarantine order," she reportedly wrote.
A report by Raleigh's WTVD identifies the protester as Audrey Whitlock. The ABC affiliate also notes that the social media post in question was made on the ReopenNC Facebook page, though it has since been deleted.It remains unclear as of this writing how or where Whitlock contracted the virus. Also unclear is whether or not she actually attended the protest that she helped organize. For her part, she answered "no comment" when asked by a WTVD reporter whether or not she attended the protest she helped organize. However, another person, who identified themself to WTVD as an administrator of the ReopenNC Facebook group, claimed that Whitlock did not attend.
Meanwhile, another similar event is planned for Raleigh on Tuesday, in which attendees plan to again call for the state to reopen. Whitlock purportedly said in her Facebook post that she plans to attend Tuesday's protest.
Currently, North Carolina has had 9,221 confirmed coronavirus cases. At least 318 people in the state are confirmed to have died of COVID-19.