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News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida and WUSF can help. Our responsibility at WUSF News is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

Orange County Mayor Warns To Avoid Large Gatherings For Super Bowl

Photo: Elevate
Photo: Elevate

Mayor Jerry Demings says he’s activated compliance strike teams to monitor bars and clubs in the community this weekend.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings reminded Orange County residents to follow COVID-19 health protocols while watching the Super Bowl on Sunday.

Demings said people should limit gatherings to family members and avoid large parties when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Tampa.

"Even though the Super Bowl is not a national holiday, we kind of treat it like it's a national holiday, and it is a time where there are usually large gatherings.," he said at the county's weekly pandemic briefing on Thursday.

"I have some tough advice for you the public. If you do get together to watch the big game, please limit your gatherings to family members only. Your really don't want to be around people you haven't had much contact with during this pandemic."

Demings said he’s already activated the compliance strike teams to monitor bars and clubs in the community this weekend.

“However, that does not mean that the bars and nightclubs can’t operate and do so in a safe manner," he said. "Our goal is to ensure that people can gather and do so safely, and we encourage them to have a good time while watching the game.”

Demings asked residents to "keep using your commong sense" in regards to coronavirus safety.

The mayor, sporting a Buccaneers pin, also gave his "best wishes" to the Bucs, noting they are a Florida team and "if you are a Floridian, I hope that you're going to be rooting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers."

Meantime, Orange County Health Director Raul Pino confirmed the first case of the UK variant of the virus in a county resident who contracted it on a trip to Mexico.

He says it is critically important that residents don’t let their guard down with these new variants, and continue to wear face masks and maintain social distancing.

“These variants seem to be more infectious, spread rapidly and they in some cases seem to be deadlier than the ones that were circulating before. If that’s even possible.”

More than 103,000 residents in the county have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and 990 have died with complications from the illness since mid-March.

Copyright 2021 WMFE. To see more, visit WMFE.

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