Did the Super Bowl cause a spike in Florida’s COVID-19 cases? Health experts say not yet

It's nearly two and a half weeks post-Super Bowl and everyone wants to know the answer – did Florida see a COVID spike?

"That didn’t happen – I was very pleasantly surprised," USF Health’s Dr. Thomas Unnasch says, after looking at the state’s data. "It looks to me that we’re seeing no impact from the Super Bowl whatsoever."

In a press conference in Hialeah Tuesday, Governor DeSantis addressed the game and the crowds.

"There was a lot of people who were complaining about the Super Bowl in Tampa, but you look at the numbers in that part of the state and they continue to go down," Desantis said.

From the start of the month, the number of daily new COVID-19 cases have been generally trending down in the state. On February 4, a seven-day rolling average showed 7.4 positivity rate. By February 23, that average was down to 6.22. 

READ COVID-19 spike in cases expected by experts after Super Bowl celebrations

DeSantis says any downward trend right after the big game could be due to the vaccine. However, Unnasch says, not exactly.

"I very much doubt it has to do with vaccinations," he said. "I think it has to do possibly with good behaviors. If you look at the events, they were pretty well placed and people we behaving themselves, wearing masks, and social distancing."

That wasn't always the case; FOX 13’s cameras were in SOHO the night of the game, where we saw virtually no mask-wearing, no social distancing, and large groups celebrating the Bucs win.

Unnasch says it will be another three of four days before we know whether the Super Bowl significantly affected case numbers.

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