Health officials fear Super Bowl celebrations were super spreader events

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Officials fear Super Bowl parties were super spreaders

Aaron Mesmer reports

The large crowd celebrating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Super Bowl win on Sunday left medical experts concerned about a possible spike in COVID-19 cases.

After the Bucs win, fans flooded the streets of Tampa. Many of them ignored COVID safety including using masks.

“We had tens of thousands of people all over the city: downtown, outside the stadium, Ybor City,” Mayor Jane Castor said during a press conference Monday morning. “It’s a little frustrating because we’ve worked so hard in partnership with the NFL and the county and only a number of different entities put executive order in place that masks had to be worn in certain areas that we knew groups would gather would. “”

South Howard becomes the sea of ​​fans after the Bucs game

Courtesy of Jordan Bowen of FOX 13

Dr. Thomas Unnasch of the University of South Florida Health said he thinks many young fans who may already have had COVID-19 were too complacent during the celebrations.

“Some of the younger people, the students who tested positive in June and July, are now coming back and testing positive again, which means that they will be infected again,” Unnasch said. “The natural immunity to these mild infections isn’t exactly long-lasting, and chances are a lot of these people out there were saying, ‘Well, I had them in June so I’m immune.’ Maybe not.”

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Unnasch also told FOX 13 it was concerned that these celebrations were taking place at a time when COVID-19 variants are spreading.

“That could lead to a really significant increase in infections,” said Unnasch. “Anything we can do beforehand to slow it down is something that would be really useful. Having these big parties and promoting things that get out there is probably not the best thing we want to do.”

Fans take to the streets of Tampa after Buc’s win

From SoHo to RayJ – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans loved it after their team handily defeated the Kansas City Chiefs at Super Bowl LV in Tampa.

With Mayor Castor now planning a Victory Parade, she’s confident that more people will follow COVID safety guidelines at celebrations that are more controlled.

“We haven’t seen these peaks after we won the Stanley Cup, so there just has to be that level of personal responsibility,” she said.

Castor also reminded the community that their expanded mask ordinance remains in effect, requiring the use of masks in Tampa entertainment areas, including Ybor City, the South Howard Avenue neighborhood, and Channelside.