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Packed football stadiums a sign of normalcy, but health officials warn it could be a mistake

From tailgating outside of stadiums to fans back in the stands, some of the biggest college football programs in the country hosted games this weekend at full capacity, and with no public health mandates.
From tailgating outside of stadiums to fans back in the stands, some of the biggest college football programs in the country hosted games this weekend at full capacity, and with no public health mandates.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – It was certainly a feeling of normalcy, but was it safe?

From tailgating outside of stadiums to fans back in the stands, some of the biggest college football programs in the country hosted games this weekend at full capacity, and with no public health mandates.

Some people are perfectly fine with that.

“My freshman year, because of Covid, I wasn’t able to get tickets, so this is my first game,” said University of Georgia student Keeley Pirtle. “I get to go on campus, I’m so excited.”

Others, including a professor at UGA, are not.

“The football season descending upon us is cause for a great deal of terror,” said Usree Bhattacharya, Assistant Professor, University of Georgia. “The Board of Regents has to take notice and do the right thing.”

CDC data shows an average of more than 1,100 people died in the US from COVID-19 each day in the week ending Thursday.

The seven-day average of daily deaths since late August is the highest it’s been since early March.

While more than 73 percent of people 12 years and older in the US have been vaccinated with at least one dose, tens of millions of eligible recipients remain unvaccinated.

“We need to start talking about the choice to remain unvaccinated as the choice to go out and drive intoxicated,” said Dr. Leana Wen, Former Baltimore Health Commissioner

Health experts continue to urge those who are still unvaccinated to roll up their sleeves and get the shot.

“Most of these people are in the movable middle,” said Dr. Jerome Adams, Former US Surgeon General. “I found that when I talk to them with compassion and with empathy, I can convince a lot of them over time to get their vaccination.”


About the Author:

Parker Branton joined Local 10 News in January 2019 as a reporter. He was born and raised in Rome, Georgia, but now loves living on the sunny beaches of South Florida.