Super Bowl wasn't the COVID-19 super-spreader event it was predicted to be

by Joel Abbott · Mar 5th, 2021 11:59 am
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Last Updated Mar 6th, 2021 at 11:28 am

Super Bowl celebrations on the streets of Tampa last month were not "super spreader" events for COVID-19, despite the warnings of American media.

Many mainstream outlets and newspapers published stories predicting a massive spike in viral cases due to Florida's more relaxed restrictions and the large crowds at the game, where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Kansas Chiefs.

The director of the CDC also issued a warning.

"I'm worried about Super Bowl Sunday, quite honestly," said CDC director Rochelle Walensky before the game. "People gather, they watch games together. We've seen outbreaks already from football parties. So, I really do think that we need to watch this and be careful."

While the county did have an uptick in positivity ratings in the following weeks, an investigation by health officials found that only 57 cases of COVID could be tracked to Super Bowl festivities.

Hillsborough County chief epidemiologist Michael Wiese said that the majority of the confirmed cases were tracked to household get-togethers and gatherings at bars and restaurants.

"While we didn't really have a lot [of transmission] that was associated directly with the Super Bowl, we do know that the community kind of celebrated and got together in response to the events, which did show some increase in the transmission during the weeks afterward," said Wiese.


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