Maskless fans flood Tampa streets in post-Super Bowl celebration

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Thousands of people flocked to streets across Tampa, Fla., on Sunday evening to celebrate the Buccaneers’ Super Bowl victory, many of them ignoring public health measures implemented to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

Photos and video of the celebration, which kicked off soon after the home-team Bucs notched a 31-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, show hundreds of people packed tightly together on street corners and in bars. Many fans were not wearing masks or practicing social distancing. 

Local media reported at least one person was arrested for climbing a tree and dozens of others were seen dancing in streets and hugging one another. 

In the days leading up to the Super Bowl, 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 a so-called super spreader event could be triggered by mass public celebrations. 

“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.”

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor (D) also implemented an order mandating people in a downtown “Entertainment District” and in the “Event Zone” near the stadium wear a face covering at all times, an edict that came with a fine of up to $500 for noncompliance. 

Many of the celebrations took place in South Tampa, local media reported, a hotbed of nightlife activity and celebration during major sporting events in the area. 

Tags Downtown Tampa Super Bowl Tampa, Florida

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