Two things have health authorities keeping a worried eye on Florida. On Sunday, the state became the first to report 200 cases of variant COVID strains, reports USA Today. The second involves the Super Bowl, specifically the celebrations surrounding it. Before the game, authorities including Dr. Anthony Fauci had implored fans to take it easy to avoid turning the game into a superspreader event, notes the Washington Post. But on Monday morning, videos of throngs of maskless revelers on the streets of Tampa celebrating the Buccaneers' win were commonplace. "Fans were thick outside the stadium before, during and after the game, while fans packed bars and restaurants in SoHo and Ybor City," reports the Tampa Bay Times.
Fauci and Co. weren't just worried about parties in Tampa but about get-togethers across the country. "I’m worried about Super Bowl Sunday, quite honestly," said CDC chief Dr. Rochelle Walensky before the game. By the count of USA Today, the nation has now recorded 699 variant cases, up from 618 on Thursday. The Post takes notes of a four-day series of parties in Tampa hosted by Barstool Sports founder Dave Poutney and others at an oceanfront bar. TMZ has images from one of those crowded bashes under the headline, "Pandemic, What Pandemic???" (South Africa stopped the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine because it didn't seem to be working against the variant in that country.)