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Tampa Mayor upset by maskless fans at Super Bowl 55

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Throngs of principally maskless followers took to the streets and packed sports activities bars throughout Tampa because the Tampa Bay Buccaneers received the hometown championship.

TAMPA, Fla. — A lot for the mayor’s order requiring masks at Tremendous Bowl events. Movies went viral on social media, displaying throngs of principally maskless followers and packed sports activities bars because the clock inside Raymond James Stadium ticked down on a hometown Tremendous Bowl win for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“It’s a little irritating as a result of we have now labored so onerous,” Tampa Mayor Jane Castor mentioned throughout an early Monday morning information convention with the Tremendous Bowl Host Committee. “At this level in coping with COVID-19, there’s a degree of frustration while you see that.”

Some 200,000 masks have been handed out forward of the sport, and “a majority” of individuals and companies adopted the principles, she mentioned.

Hours later, throughout one other information convention, Castor’s remarks shifted, saying that the folks she noticed celebrating have been principally masked.

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“I’m proud to say the vast majority of people that I noticed out and about having fun with the festivities related to the Tremendous Bowl have been complying,” she mentioned. “They understood their degree of private duty they usually have been doing the correct factor. I’m very happy with that.”

Even the White Home weighed in.

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White Home press secretary Jen Psaki was requested about whether or not President Joe Biden was involved over Tampa followers taking to the streets following the Buccaneers Tremendous Bowl.

“He’s after all involved when there are photos and pictures – all of us are – that present many, many individuals with out masks in shut distance with each other on the top of a pandemic,” she mentioned.

To satisfy coronavirus protocols, the NFL capped the group at beneath 25,000 in a stadium that usually holds some 66,000 followers, and required masks.

However outdoors the stadium, crowds of followers who weren’t carrying masks or practising social distancing could possibly be seen celebrating the Buccaneers’ 31-9 win over the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs on Sunday evening. People cheered, crammed into bars and hugged in a number of hotspots across the metropolis — and swarmed the streets — all with out masks.

In hopes of curbing so-called super-spreader occasions, Castor had signed a largely voluntary government order requiring folks put on face coverings throughout the Tremendous Bowl festivities, even whereas they’re outdoor. She pleaded with folks to have fun safely, noting town may difficulty fines of as much as $500.

It wasn’t clear on Monday what number of citations town handed out, if any.

The mayor cited the autumn Stanley Cup win by the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey crew — and the fan celebrations surrounding that — as proof that it is attainable for folk to occasion outdoor with out spreading the virus.

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“We didn’t see these spikes after the Stanley Cup occasions,” she mentioned.

A have a look at COVID-19 instances on Sept. 29 and Oct. 1 — days when sure fan occasions occurred after the hockey crew’s win — and at instances two weeks later present a tiny uptick, based on knowledge from Johns Hopkins and the Covid Monitoring Challenge.

Native orders have been overridden final yr by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose government order made it troublesome for native governments to implement masks insurance policies as a result of it prohibits them from fining individuals who do not comply. Florida has by no means had a masks coverage.

Throughout Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg, Mayor Rick Kriseman was already sad a few maskless occasion hosted by Rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson in a hangar at Albert Whitted Airport on Friday evening. Footage from the occasion posted on social media confirmed a densely packed occasion with few folks carrying masks to guard in opposition to unfold of the coronavirus.

“This isn’t how we ought to be celebrating the Tremendous Bowl,” the mayor tweeted on Saturday. “It’s not secure or sensible. It’s silly. We’re going to take a really shut have a look at this, and it might find yourself costing somebody much more than 50 cent.”

The nation’s prime infectious illness skilled, Dr. Anthony Fauci, additionally warned in opposition to turning the Tremendous Bowl into a brilliant spreader, saying earlier than the sport that folks ought to “simply lay low and funky it.”

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Florida has recorded 1.7 million confirmed instances of the coronavirus and greater than 28,000 deaths, based on state well being data. State officers mentioned Sunday that 667,830 folks in Florida had been absolutely vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19.

Castor mentioned town and Buccaneers are planning an official celebration to be held later this week.

“This win was from the Buccaneer crew however this win was for our whole neighborhood,” she mentioned. “They deserve to have the ability to have fun with the crew. All people will be capable to take part and take part safely.”

Frisaro reported from Fort Lauderdale and Aamer Madhani contributed from Chicago.

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