By TAMARA LUSH and Frida Friso, Associated Press
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – The mayor’s order requires masks at Super Bowl parties. The video went viral on social media, showing a crowd with mostly masked fans and a sports pack packed inside the clock as Raymond James Stadium ticked on a hometown Super Bowl victory for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“It’s a bit disappointing because we worked so hard,” Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said during a press conference Monday morning with the Super Bowl host committee. “At this point when dealing with COVID-19, there is a level of frustration when you see it.”
She said that some 200,000 masks were given ahead of the game, and that the “majority” of people and businesses followed the rules.
An hour later, during another news conference, Castor’s remarks were moved, saying that the people he had celebrated were mostly masked.
“I am proud to say that of the individuals I saw and were enjoying the festivities associated with the Super Bowl,” he said. “They understood their level of personal responsibility and were doing the right thing. I am very proud of him. “
Even the White House weighed in.
White House press secretary Jane Saki was asked about whether President Joe Biden was concerned with Tampa fans taking to the streets after the Buccaneers Super Bowl.
“He is definitely concerned when there are photographs and photographs – we all are – that show many people without masks in close distance with each other at the height of an epidemic,” she said.
To meet the coronovirus protocol, the NFL capped a crowd of less than 25,000 in a stadium, which typically contains some 66,000 fans and required masks.
But outside the stadium, crowds of fans who were not wearing masks or practicing social disturbances can be seen celebrating the Buccaneers’ 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. Folks rejoiced, barged into bars and roamed the many hotspots around the city – and swarmed the streets – all without masks.
In the hope of curbing so-called super-spreader events, Castor signed a massive voluntary executive order requiring people to cover the face during the Super Bowl celebration while they are out. She requested people to celebrate in a safe manner, noting that the city could issue fines of up to $ 500.
It was not clear on Monday how many citations the city has given, if any.
Local orders were overridden last year by the Florida government. Ron Desantis, whose executive order made it difficult for local governments to implement masked policies because it prevents fines from those who do not comply. Florida never had a mask policy.
Across Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg, Mayor Rick Krisman was already unhappy about a masked party hosted by rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson in a hangar at Albert Fitted Airport on Friday night. The party pictures posted on social media appeared densely packed. Incident with some people wearing masks to protect against the spread of coronovirus.
The mayor tweeted on Saturday, “This is not how we should celebrate the Super Bowl”. “It is not safe or smart. This is stupid. We are going to keep a close eye on it, and it can cost someone more than 50 percent. “
The country’s top infectious disease specialist, Dr. Anthony Fauci also warned against turning the Super Bowl into a super spreader, saying before the game that people should “just keep low and cool it down.”
According to state health records, 1.7 million cases of coronovirus and more than 28,000 deaths have been reported in Florida. State officials said on Sunday that 667,830 people in Florida were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Castor said the city and the Buccaneers are planning an official celebration to be held later this week.
“The win was the Buccaneer team, but the win was for our entire community,” she said. “They deserve to be able to celebrate with the team. Every person will be able to participate and participate safely.”
Frisaro from Fort Lauderdale reported and Amer Madhani from Chicago contributed.
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