Fans pack stadium for concert as Florida reports tens of thousands of new COVID-19 cases

Thousands of fans pack TIAA Bank Field for Hella Mega Tour concert

Thousands of fans endured the summer heat at TIAA Bank Field for the Hella Mega Tour concert.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Thousands of fans packed TIAA Bank Field for a concert Saturday as the state reports tens of thousands of new COVID-19 cases.

At the Hella Mega Tour on Saturday, thousands of fans bear the summer heat. The high temperatures met with the state’s highest one-day cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic: 21,683 new cases, per federal health officials.

This number is part of the 110,000 cases reported over the past week in Florida, which was also a record.

RELATED: Florida, Jacksonville show biggest one-week jump in COVID-19 cases ever

“I actually am very worried about it. I almost didn’t come because of it,” Anne-Marie Vanderhoof said.

“I’ve had COVID before. It’s one of those things that I feel like if I’m going to get it, I’m going to get it,” Elizabeth Cherico said.

“I had COVID last October and I work at the hospital in Tallahassee, and I know the mandates over, but the vaccine is not enough,” Jordan Martin said.

The majority of the people at the concert were not wearing masks. The few that did said it’s another layer of protection.

“Just some extra precaution. I’m fully vaccinated, so I don’t particularly need it all too much, but I just want to stay safe,” Jude Lake said.

Health officials said vaccinated people can carry the virus as much as those without the shot. They said in addition to getting the vaccine, people need to wear a mask.

“Those that are fully vaccinated, it reduces their risk of severe disease or death by tenfold, and reduces their risk of infection by three folds. So that’s why it’s still important to get vaccinated,” Dr. Mohammed B. Reza. “But at the same time wearing that mask is just so much more important at this point in areas that have high rate of transmission of this virus.”

Reza said the masks work and will help slow the spread if we use them.

“We all are doing our precautions. At least I feel so, and out here, just have some fun, but do so safely,” Brett Zitzelberg said.

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A Florida-born, Emmy Award winning journalist and proud NC A&T SU grad