Tampa Bay doctor warns Super Bowl could be COVID-19 super spreader

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WLA) – Local doctors warn the Super Bowl could become a COVID-19 super spreader event.

Dr. Jay Wolfson with the University of South Florida’s Morsani College of Medicine says he’s not worried about the activities inside Raymond James Stadium.

Wolfson tells 8 On Your Side he’s concerned with the festivities outside the venue, around Tampa Bay.

There’s going to be lots of gatherings in public venues, lots of gatherings in commercial venues and lots of gatherings in private venues, in homes that’s where the risks occur, describes the doctor.

Wolfson predicts a surge in coronavirus cases six to eight weeks after Super Bowl LV.

He says, “afterwards we’ll see some spikes locally. The folks who come to Tampa will bring back whatever they get exposed to here.”

Wolfson worries “the enthusiasm of the event of the day is probably going to result in a lot of people singing and screaming and cheering and talking loud and even in outdoor venues there’s going to be people grouping together.”

He feels local leaders have put the appropriate guidelines in place.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor issued a mask mandate in entertainment districts and at Super Bowl events, ahead of the big game.

“We don’t have enough resources we don’t have enough boots on the ground. I think people will do what they can. Code enforcement will be as reasonable as it can be,” he said.

He believes the post-Super Bowl spike will be more serious than the surge following the holiday season.

“Ultimately it goes back to the basics and that is that it’s a matter of personal responsibility for everyone,” he said.

Wolfson reminds fans to “wear your mask and wash your hands and socially distance.”

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