KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — Coronavirus is throwing a flag on large gatherings.
Data shows COVID-19 cases have increased or spiked after major holidays and big events, and local health experts say they don’t want that to happen after Super Bowl weekend.
“It’s just kind of sad to see how many people out here late at night knowing there’s a pandemic, knowing that people are dying and people are sick, and people are still partying,” a neighbor who lives on Agnes Avenue said.
“I fear for the younger people because if they go home to their parents, they don’t know what they’ve carried home to them. They don’t know what they’ve carried home to their little brother or sister.”
The neighborhood is home to weekly house parties where some estimate hundreds of people attend. According to neighbors, the partygoers are seen without masks, not social distancing and sometimes blocking the street.
A large party was busted last week after police were called and cars were towed.
“I woke up to the noise and the beep, beep, beep from the loud tow trucks, and the loud music. That was it,” the neighbor, who did not want to be named, said. “I saw people running, going through people houses, trying to get away and disperse the scene. They towed away at least 16 or 17 cars.”
Big and loud parties are what health experts fear could be super-spreaders, especially on Super Bowl weekend.
The Kansas City Health Department has been sharing a cautionary tale of a recent outbreak linked to a party where 12 of 13 people in attendance tested positive for COVID-19.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, has some advice for those planning to throw large gatherings on Sunday — don’t.
“Enjoy the game, watch the game, but do it with immediate members of your family, people in your household. As much fun as it is to have a big Super Bowl party, now is not the time to do that,” Fauci said.
The CDC released guidelines for Super Bowl parties, including to avoid using restroom facilities at a restaurant or other venue, especially during “high traffic times” such as halftime or immediately after the game.
Fans are also advised to “avoid chanting or cheering” and to “stomp, clap or bring hand-held noisemakers instead.” The coronavirus spreads more easily among people who are yelling with one another or cheering.