Tim Walters, a co-founder of Reopen Maryland, said last week that he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus

By Maria Pasquini
June 29, 2020 03:38 PM
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Tim Walters
Perry Aston/ZUMA

One of the co-founders of a group that protested against Maryland’s stay-at-home order says he has tested positive for coronavirus.

Tim Walters, a leader of Reopen Maryland — which organized rallies in April and May, urging Gov. Larry Hogan to begin lifting coronavirus restrictions — announced last week that he had tested positive for COVID-19.

“It is Thursday, week 15 of my house arrest, which apparently hasn’t worked because this is day 2 of me having COVID,” Walters, 53, said in a Facebook video uploaded last week, before letting out a laugh.

“I did have a hard day yesterday. I told you guys I wasn’t feeling really well. I crashed later in the day, had to go to the emergency room. I thought I was actually having a stroke,” he continued. “Turns out I have COVID. So with that said, I’m not feeling quite myself today.”

Walters, a Republican who has run twice for a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates, went on to share that his wife and son would also be tested for the virus.

“Interesting time, but as you can see, I’m not dying. It’s uncomfortable. I would make it akin to having the flu,” he continued. In a subsequent update on Monday, Walters noted that he was “doing much better.

Walters will be quarantining at home until at least July 7, according to the Daily Record.

Despite Walters’ diagnosis, he says his opinion hasn't changed about not wearing masks in public.

“Masks are an absolutely great tool for people that want to use them to use them,” he told the Daily Record on Friday, before adding that — in his opinion — “they’re not really going to do anything.”

“There’s too much proof that masks don’t work,” he said, adding that he would not help state officials with contract tracing efforts, according to the Capital Gazette,

However, in a recent study researchers found that the risk of coronavirus transmission went down 85 percent when people wore a mask, and that N95 masks did the best job of reducing the spread of the virus.

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Currently in phase 2 of its reopening process, Maryland requires residents to wear protective face coverings on public transportation and while in retail stores, according to CNN.

Sharing an article about Walters’ diagnosis on social media — which featured an image of Walters not wearing a mask at a protest — Gov. Hogan encouraged Maryland residents to “continue to take all precautions to reduce the risks of spreading coronavirus.”

“As Marylanders have gathered to peacefully protest in recent weeks, I want to reiterate to those participating in these events that it’s still important to continue to take all precautions to reduce the risks of spreading the coronavirus,” he wrote.

“Our health experts are strongly encouraging anyone who attended a demonstration or mass gathering to immediately get tested for coronavirus, and they are also advised to avoid contact with vulnerable populations,” he continued.

As of Monday, there have been at least 67,746 confirmed coronavirus cases and over 3,000 deaths, according to The New York Times.

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