An organiser of a North Carolina protest group that has been calling on the state to ease lockdown restriction has tested positive for Covid-19.
Audrey Whitlock, who runs the Facebook page ReOpen NC, has been urging residents of the US state of North Carolina to revolt against mandatory self-isolation and social distancing being imposed because of the pandemic.
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Speaking to news station WFAE, Whitlock confirmed that she was under quarantine for two weeks ending Sunday after testing positive for coronavirus.
"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," Whitlock told the outlet.
The organiser missed two rallies her group held in Raleigh, the state capital, where they demanded North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper speed up plans to lift the stay-at-home order, which is in effect until May 8.
Whitlock complained on Facebook that her "forced" self-quarantine violated her First Amendment rights.
"The reality is that modern society has not been able to eradicate contagious viruses," she wrote.
"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 First Amendment right of freedom of religion.
She added: "It has been insinuated by others that if I go out, I could be arrested for denying a quarantine order."
Whitlock first revealed her coronavirus diagnosis in a private post to the 70,000 members in the Facebook page on Sunday.
"The test came back positive for Covid-19 and negative for the antibodies," Whitlock wrote in the message obtained by the Raleigh News and Observer.
"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."
The "peaceful action" group launched early April and is mostly made of business owners and employees that are losing income because of the lockdown.
There have been about at least 10,500 coronavirus cases in North Carolina with 378 deaths.