SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – They warned us about large Thanksgiving gatherings, Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties, and now local health officials are urging us to help keep the Super Bowl from becoming a Super Spreader in San Antonio.
Local health officials are warning against the traditional large gatherings and parties for the big game this Sunday because of COVID-19.
“Right now, our numbers are 10 times as high as they were in September,” said Dr. Junda Woo, medical director of Metro Health.
Woo says it’s even more important to be remain vigilant and follow the public health guidelines as COVID-19 variants that could be more dangerous and spread more rapidly emerge.
“The public health guidelines, they’re our way out of this mess,” Wood said at the COVID-19 briefing Tuesday evening. “We’re not the enemy. If we could all do this, we could be out of it sooner.”
Mayor Ron Nirenberg said more than 30 citations for violations of the mask requirement were issued at a house party last weekend in San Antonio. Neighbors called police to report the gathering of about 100 people.
“Those were individual citations and that is now part of the state and local orders,” said Nirenberg. “In addition to that, there was underage drinking cited.”
A violation of the mask order carries a $250 fine. If it happens at a business, the business owner gets the citation.
As stated in Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order concerning face coverings, “Every person in Texas shall wear a face covering over the nose and mouth when inside a commercial entity or other building or space open to the public, or when in an outdoor public space, wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household.” This applies to people 10 years or older unless you have a medical condition that prevents you from wearing a face covering. Masks are not required for outdoor activities where social distancing is not possible, or while a person is eating or drinking.
State rules prohibit gatherings of more than 10 people, with some exceptions. The mayor stressed that attending large Super Bowl parties is risky.
“It’s not a good idea, even if you did get away with it, because what is likely to result, even if you don’t have a fine, is a lot of people getting sick,” said Nirenberg. “I have too many people that I know personally and throughout this community who are able-bodied, relatively young, in good health who have ended up in the hospital, ICU or worse, so don’t become a statistic and don’t be the reason someone is in the hospital.”
Officials recommend enjoying the Super Bowl at home with members of your household, and you might want to keep the shouting down. The CDC says the primary way people are infected with the virus is through exposure to respiratory droplets carrying the virus, which can readily spread through coughing, sneezing, singing and yelling.
Here’s the governor’s executive order on gathering restrictions.