Photos show health care workers in masks blocking parade of lockdown protesters in Colorado

Health care workers blocked a parade of protesters who gathered outside of Colorado’s Capitol on Sunday against the state’s stay-at-home orders to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Viral photos show health care workers donned in teal scrubs and matching masks with crossed arms standing in front of motorists lined up for several blocks on an avenue leading to the Capitol building.

The photographs were taken by photojournalist Alyson McClaran.

Horn-honking motorists lined up for several blocks on an avenue leading to the Capitol building, then circled it as pedestrians, some not wearing masks, congregated closely outside the building. Many waved American flags and held signs that read “End the Virus, Not the Economy” and “We need stability to stay healthy,” The Denver Post reported.

Other signs expressed support for President Donald Trump, who has called for a rapid economic reopening, and against Gov. Jared Polis, whose orders shuttered thousands of nonessential businesses. Police officers wearing masks and gloves kept tabs on the protest.

At least 422 people have died in Colorado and 9,730 have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the state health department.

Denver’s protesters joined others in the West, including Utah, Idaho and Washington state, in staging rallies demanding immediate action to reopen states for business. Eastern states begin to join the movement as thousands of protesters in Pennsylvania promise to show up in Harrisburg on Monday.

While residents protest their states’ decision to retain stay-at-home orders, other states have started gradually reopening while others are outlining plans to do so.

On Friday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gave some municipalities the green light to reopen beaches with restricted hours. In Jacksonville, social media showed people enthusiastically flocking to beaches as they reopened.

Texas, Vermont and Ohio are among those who are taking steps toward a gradual opening as President Donald Trump pushes to relax the U.S. lockdown by May 1.

Several states announced plans to coordinate their response with neighbors including California, Washington and Oregon; and New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island.

Contributing: Joel Shannon, USA TODAY; Associated Press. Follow Adrianna Rodriguez on Twitter: @AdriannaUSAT.

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