Koreatown man reinfected with COVID-19 after attending several protests

A Koreatown man tells FOX 11 he has been reinfected with COVID-19 for a second time after he attended several Black Lives Matter protests last month, and while he remembers being concerned about being in the crowds, he doesn’t know if the protests were the source of his most recent infection.

Gabriel Lee works as an IT specialist at several hospitals throughout the Los Angeles area.

He says he first tested positive for COVID-19 in March, before the lockdowns began.

“All of a sudden I had mild headaches and then it started getting really serious, I had fevers from like 103 to 104 sometimes for two weeks straight,” Lee said.

Lee said the infection and symptoms lasted about a month, and he provided FOX 11 with his test results from April 22nd showing he still tested positive for COVID-19.

Lee eventually recovered and went back to work.

He told FOX 11 that as part of his job working in hospitals, his employer mandated frequent coronavirus testing.

He said he tested negative several times after his first infection, but then ested positive again on June 19th after he attended several Black Lives Matter protests.

Lee said he wore PPE at the protests, but remembers feeling worried about the large crowds and proximity of people to each other.

“Everyone was so close to eachother, everyone was stuck on eachother you know,” Lee said. “I think about more than a quarter weren’t wearing masks, there were probably like 5,000 people at the protests probably, all I remember is at some points we couldn’t even turn around or anything.”

Lee doesn’t know if the protests were the source of his infection. He suspects if they weren’t it could have been from air circulation at any building he’s been in, or having to sometimes reuse PPE.

Lee provided FOX 11 with his test results showing he tested positive for COVID-19 on June 19.

He said this recent infection is much worse than the one he had in March, calling the first one “Corona Lite” and the recent one “Corona Extra.”

“Corona Lite, it was like light symptoms, headaches and pain, just getting sore, to be honest it wasn’t that bad,” he said. “Whereas Corona Extra, it’s like you have three different sicknesses that combine into one, like you have a bad flu, you have the stomach flu, you also have light cramps, to be honest it feels like death , you don’t have the energy to do anything. For males it sucks, imagine you have a fever, you have diarreah, and then all of a sudden your testicles feel like they’re getting hit constantly, it was like that for a week.”

Lee says he’s feeling much better not, and has about a week of quarantine left before he can get tested again to return to work.

“It’s hard, that’s why I’m in the car right now, cause I don’t want to be around people,” he said.

Lee said no contact tracers contacted him about his recent infection.