How To Stay Safe While Protesting During a Pandemic

Self-expression and showing support of our communities is important during these challenging times.  Below is some guidance on how to protect yourself and those around you while protesting or being in mass gatherings during this pandemic. 


Consider who is in your household and their health.

Do not risk exposing them to SARS-CoV-2, especially if they are at higher risk for COVID-19 complications.

There are other ways to do anti-racist activism besides protesting in the streets. This may look like educating yourself and the people around you, donating to social justice organizations and/or signing petitions.

Wear a mask and avoid touching your face.

Wearing your mask is the most important way to illustrate you care about the health of the people around you. The mask protects others, not you. It does not illustrate weakness, it shows you care about others.

The mask must cover both nose and mouth. You can allow your face to breathe occasionally but make sure no one is nearby and only bring down one side of the mask to allow air in. Do not take off your mask to chant. This is when you need it the most to protect the people around you!

Don’t shake hands, hug, share drinks or engage in long face-to-face conversations.

Carry hand sanitizer.

Use liberally, including to clean off anything you are handed if you don’t have alcohol spray or soap and water.

When speaking to crowds in a bullhorn:

  1. Spray down the bullhorn with 70% alcohol before using it.

  2. KEEP your mask on when using the bullhorn if at all possible!  You can still be heard through the mask. 

  3. Spray/wipe down the bullhorn and hands before handing the bullhorn to the next person. 

  4. The person receiving the bullhorn should clean their hands before touching the clean bullhorn.

Try and maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet.

After Protesting

  1. Change your clothes as soon as possible, shower and disinfect your belongings and consider a 2-week self-isolation. It is possible to transmit COVID-19 without showing any symptoms.

  2. Consider a 2-week self-quarantine if you have been in a situation where the above advice was not broadly followed. If you are concerned about your potential exposure/risk of COVID-19 while participating in protesting activities, talk to your health care provider. Students can call the UHS Advice Nurse at (510) 643-7197.