County health officials report there’s been a steady increase in COVID-19 patients throughout North Texas. The number of hospitalizations and ICU admissions are on the rise in both Dallas and Tarrant counties. This comes at the same time that a number of large sporting events are set to take place this weekend.
“It raises our blood pressure and gives us pause because we know that the risk of COVID transmission obviously increases with the proximity of individuals and number of individuals together,” said Dr. Mark Casanova, President of the Dallas County Medical Society.
More than 17,500 attendees are expected to attend Monster Jam at AT&T stadium. Drivers say the sport is heavily dependent on crowd support and he can’t wait to see the fans in the stand.
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“If it wasn’t for our fans, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do so we’re very excited to get back to our fans,” said second-generation driver Krysten Anderson. “I wish I could hug every one of them, unfortunately, that’s now I’ll just be happy to see their faces in the seats.”
Monster Jam organizers have put precautions and social distancing measures are in place for both participants and fans.
“We want to be setting industry standard moving forward make sure that our crew and fans feel comfortable and confident,” said Bryce Kenny, monster truck driver.
Monster Jam just one of four major sporting events in Tarrant County alone. The NASCAR playoff races are taking place this weekend at the Texas Motor Speedway, Game 3 of The World Series is being played at Globe Life Field, and TCU is hosting a home game on Saturday.
Doctors say, even though some of these events are outdoors, people should not let their guard down.
“I think what we have to remember at many of these outdoor events, we’re not outdoors the entire time,” said Casanova. “There’s those bottleneck areas, those entrance points, concession lines, bathrooms, you name it. There’s the opportunity for a large number of individuals who’ve gathered to still be together– so that’s the concern we have.”
This latest surge is before an even greater one doctors anticipate we will see during the upcoming flu season. They say it’s critical that people remember the basic safety protocols: wear your mask, wash your hands frequently and keep physical distancing.