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article imageMaskless fans celebrate after Super Bowl — 'Not smart or safe'

By Karen Graham     Feb 8, 2021 in Health
Tampa - The mayor’s order requiring masks at Super Bowl parties was wasted on the throngs of mostly maskless fans who took to the streets and packed sports bars after the Super Bowl win for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
And the NFL - abiding by coronavirus protocols - capped the crowd at under 25,000 inside Raymond James Stadium that normally holds some 66,000 fans.
But it was the crowds outside the stadium, not wearing masks or social distancing that frustrated city officials, not only in Tampa but across the bay in St. Petersburg. To try and keep a super-spreader event from happening, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor had signed an executive order requiring people to wear face coverings during the Super Bowl festivities, even while they’re outdoors.
“As I’ve told everybody we all know how to avoid COVID-19 and that’s by simply wearing a mask,” Castor told WFLA. “I’ve been yelling for the Bucs all night long, you can do it with a mask on.”
Photos and videos show hundreds of people packed tightly together on street corners and in bars, most without masks. Local media reported at least one person was arrested for climbing a tree and dozens of others were seen dancing in the streets and hugging one another, reports The Hill.
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman was not very happy with the maskless celebrators either. He was was already unhappy about a maskless party hosted by Rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson in a hangar at Albert Whitted Airport on Friday night, according to the Associated Press.
“This isn’t how we should be celebrating the Super Bowl,” the mayor tweeted on Saturday. “It’s not safe or smart. It’s stupid. We’re going to take a very close look at this, and it may end up costing someone a lot more than 50 cent.”
Leading up to the Super Bowl on Sunday, the local health department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pleaded with fans who planned to attend the game or live in the area to stay home and celebrate, fearing the game could turn into a super-spreader event.
“Enjoy the game, watch it on television, but do it with the immediate members of your family, the people in your household," said Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, last week. "As much fun as it is to get together in a big Super Bowl party now is not the time to do that."
More about maskless fans, 'super bowl, superspreader event, street corners and in bars, Warnings
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