As Tampa Bay fans celebrated the Super Bowl win of the Buccaneers, health authorities have expressed concern about the crowd of thousands of maskless fans causing a COVID-19 Super spreader.
On Sunday evening, Rock Hill Herald reported that Buccaneers fans gathered together in celebration while ignoring the public health measures that were imposed in order to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
Images and footage of the celebrations quickly emerged on social media after the Bucs' 31-9 win against the Kansas City Chiefs. It was seen that huge crowds were tightly packed inside bars and on the streets.
Potential COVID-19 Super Spreader
It can also be noted that many of the fans were out celebrating maskless, despite the public health reminders from the World Health Organization (WHO), US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), federal and state health organizations that wearing and social distancing are key factors in slowing down the spread of COVID-19.
In addition, based on reports from local media, there were dozens of people who were hugging each other and dancing on the streets despite the reminder of practicing social distancing.
There was also at least one individual that was arrested after he climbed a tree amid the celebrations.
Before the Super Bowl, the CDC and the local health department urged fans to have made plans to attend the game, and those who lived near the area to avoid a possible COVID-19 super spreader by staying at home to celebrate. They also pleaded people to avoid public celebrations and mass gatherings, The Associated Press reported.
In a statement last week, the United States' top infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci encouraged people to watch the match between the Buccaneers and Chiefs from their homes. He also added that celebrations can be done with people inside the household.
Fauci also stressed that as much as a big Super Bowl Party is fun, the times have changed due to the pandemic and that this is not the time for that.
On the other hand, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor also released an order which mandated people who were in the 'Entertainment District' and those who lived near the Raymond James Stadium or what was referred to as the 'Event Zone' to always wear face coverings when outside.
The mandate came with a fine which is up to $500 for those who do not comply.
Twenty-two thousand masked fans were in attendance for the Super Bowl game itself. Most of those who were present were healthcare workers who have already been vaccinated, The Washington Post reported.
The number of attendees was significantly low compared to previous Super Bowls because of the restrictions imposed to avoid turning the sporting event into a COVID-19 super spreader.
While the NFL and Super Bowl teams have exerted effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep the event safe. The after-game celebrations mainly took place in South Tampa which is a hotbed for nightlife and celebrations especially when there are sporting events in the area.
The US is currently facing a huge rise in cases of the new COVID-19 variant and mass gatherings leading to COVID-19 Super Spreaders are highly discouraged.
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